Spiritual Gifts at Work in the Life of Christ

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Isaiah 11:1-3 (NIV)

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him-the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding. The Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord-and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.

In the New Testament, Paul provided multiple lists of different gifts that God gives to His people through the Holy Spirit. However, long before Paul wrote to the churches of the New Testament about the gifts of the Spirit, Isaiah prophesied about spiritual gifts that would be evident in the life of Christ.

When considering the prophecies in the Old Testament, Isaiah’s book is widely considered to be the most profound concerning the coming of the Messiah. In addition to prophecies about His birth, death, and resurrection, Isaiah also wrote about the details of Christ’s life.

This includes the first life of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, which Isaiah said would be evident in the life of Christ. In today’s study, learn more about how these gifts were evident in the life of Christ and His ministry.


Mark 6:1-3 (NIV)
Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us” And they took offense at him.

The wisdom of Jesus always confounded the religious leaders of the day. The men who became Pharisees and Sadducees spent their entire lives studying the Torah (the Law of Moses).

They sat under more experienced leaders in order to understand how to better enforce the laws given. Suddenly, the Son of a carpenter shows up in the temple and begins teaching things that they had never considered before.

While they knew the words of the Old Testament, Christ was the living embodiment of those words. They were familiar with the Law, but Christ was the Author. The wisdom of God only comes from an intimate knowledge of Him.


John 4:17-18 (NIV)
“I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

If anyone had the right to not be understanding of people who continued to miss the mark, it was Christ. After all, He was without sin. In His 33-plus years on this planet, He never said one sinful word.

He never mishandled a single situation. His holiness was such a prominent part of who He was, that He never had a single impure thought! How could He be so understanding of other people? Because it’s a gift.

In this conversation, Christ was talking to a woman who certainly had a reputation. With five failed marriages on her record, she now found herself with a man who she wasn’t married to. In New Testament times, that was unheard of. However, Christ chose to approach her with understanding. We should do the same when interacting with people.


John 5:6 (NIV)
When Jesus say him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well.”

Christ’s work as the “Wonderful Counselor” was highlighted when He chose to look beyond the problems people had on the surface so He could address what was going on inside. In this interaction, there was a man who had been crippled for more than 30 years. Christ didn’t just approach him with an offer for healing. He asked if the man wanted to be made whole.

When the man started offering excuses as to why it wasn’t possible for Him, Christ spoke into his soul. He healed his body, but He also changed his life. Gone were the excuses that the man had been allowing to hold him back.

When Christ told the man to pick up his mat and walk, He was setting the man free from everything that had been holding him back up to that point in his life. He does the same for us.


Mark 5:6-8 (NIV)
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”

The man who came running to Jesus was demon possessed. People in the town had tried to restrain him with chains, but the demonic force inside him empowered him to break them. The man came running to Jesus for mercy, and even the demons had to beg for Christ not to utterly destroy them.

In that moment, Christ exhibited a supernatural might over the demonic forces that had wrecked the man’s life. When Christ told the demons to come out of the man, they asked Him to send them into a herd of pigs nearby. Christ granted their request, another example of His might.

The pigs then ran down the hill and died in the sea. Jesus established that He had the power over an entire legion of demons. This level of power gives us the victory over Satan’s lies.


Luke 2:49-50 (NIV)
“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

We don’t know a lot about Christ’s formative years. While His birth is recorded in multiple Gospel accounts, there are no stories about Him until He was 12. At that point, Mary and Joseph lost Him on the journey home, only to turn around and find Him in the temple.

When they asked Him why He would do something like that, He told them that He had to be about the Father’s business.

Christ at 12 years of age sat in the temple and amazed the teachers of the law. Again, this was because He was the Author. We gain knowledge when we commit ourselves to God’s house, learning His Word, and how to apply it to our lives. Christ always had a hunger to be around the Word of God, and we should have the same.

Fear of the Lord

Luke 22:42-43 (NIV)
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done. An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

Fearing God isn’t about being afraid of our Heavenly Father. Instead, it means that we revere Him so much that we allow our own desires to be put under subjection to His. Christ was the embodiment of this premise, and it was never more evident than when He prayed before His arrest and crucifixion.

Jesus didn’t want to go to the cross. He knew how painful it would be physically, mentally, and emotionally. However, He chose the cross because it was the Father’s plan.

You can walk out this fear of the Lord in your own life by embracing submission. When we revere Him the way Christ did, we can rest assured that we’re following God’s plan for our lives just like Jesus did.

A Closing Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for the Gifts of the Spirit and how evident they were in the life of Your Son. Help me to put those gifts into action in my own life. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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