Many of us know that Luke, who wrote the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, was a traveling companion of Paul. Luke was a physician by trade (Colossians 4:14) and the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts are stuffed with medical terminology in the Greek New Testament. Luke had a spirit-filled and “charismatic” perspective as we can clearly see from the book of Acts. We can also note his pneumatic worldview in how his gospel of Jesus begins. Like the gospel of Matthew, Luke begins with God’s intervention. While Matthew uses an emphasis on revelatory dreams as the key to the fulfillment of prophecy in Scripture (Matthew 1:20-24, 2:13-15 and 2:19-23), the gospel of Luke documents an outburst of prophecies and angelic visitation.
Here are those sections in the opening to Luke’s narrative declaring the demonstration of the spirit during and just before the birth of Jesus Christ:
Luke 1:8-13, “Now it happened that while he was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of his division, according to the custom of the priestly office, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer outside at the hour of the incense offering. And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John.”
Luke 1:26-30, “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.”
Luke 1:39-42, “Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”
Luke 1:46, “And Mary said: ‘My soul exalts the Lord…'”
Luke 1:63-67, “And he asked for a tablet and wrote as follows, “His name is John.” And they were all astonished. And at once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak in praise of God. Fear came on all those living around them; and all these matters were being talked about in all the hill country of Judea. All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, “What then will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him. And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying…”
Luke 2:7-9, “And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.”
Luke 2:13-15, “And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”
Luke 2:25-28, “And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said…”
Luke 2:36-38, “And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage , and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.”
Clearly Luke’s writings and the introduction to his two volumes called Luke-Acts is loaded with spirit-filled incidents and terminology. In just the opening of Luke’s story of Jesus we have at least nine supernatural incidents. The good news of Jesus Christ, how his life began and how he continues to rule enthroned at the right hand of God, is a continual outpouring of the holy spirit. This gospel endures as a story of the wonderful works of God to this day. This is because of the grace, power and love of God first of all. But through your life and the life of the Church, as we live to glorify his name, the wonderful name of Jesus, we will persist in seeing the move of the Holy Spirit in our day and all our days.