The Anointing With The Holy Spirit In Luke-Acts -- By: Walt Russell

Journal: Trinity Journal
Volume: TRINJ 07:1 (Spring 1986)
Article: The Anointing With The Holy Spirit In Luke-Acts
Author: Walt Russell


The Anointing With The Holy Spirit
In Luke-Acts

Walt Russell

Grace Discovery Center

The purpose of this study is to use the perspective of “anointing” as a window into the work of the Holy Spirit in Luke-Acts.1 Such a perspectival study is an attempt to enrich our understanding of Luke’s theology of the Spirit by peering through the single lens of anointing. The anointing perspective is certainly valid for describing Jesus’ baptism with the Holy Spirit. He himself calls his baptism an “anointing,” as do the Jerusalem church and Peter (Luke 4:18; Acts 4:27; 10:38). This article’s thesis is that Luke continues to use this metaphor for the baptism of Christians with the Holy Spirit and that the anointing metaphor profoundly informs the purpose of Spirit-baptism in Acts. Our goal is to establish continuity between Jesus’ Spirit-baptism in Luke 3:21–22 and the successive Spirit-baptisms in Acts. To accomplish this, we will first examine Jesus’ anointing in Luke 3, then his explanation of its significance in Luke 4. Also, we want to validate that Luke uses Jesus’ explanation in the Nazareth synagogue (Luke 4:16–30) as a paradigm for the rest of his ministry,2 and as a paradigm for Luke’s pneumatology of the Christian life.3 After establishing the exact thrust of the anointing metaphor in these gospel passages, we will then look for continuity in the Spirit-baptisms in Acts 1–2, 8, 10–11, and 19.

I. Jesus’ Anointing With The Spirit In Luke

A. The Anointing Itself (Luke 3:21-22)

Luke’s account of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist is paralleled in Matt 3:13–17 and Mark 1:9–11. A comparison of the Holy Spirit’s role preceding Jesus’ baptism in each of the synoptic gospels reveals the unique lukan emphasis. Mark only mentions the Spirit in John the Baptist’s announcement of Jesus’ future Spirit-baptizing (Mark 1:8). Matthew includes this announcemen...

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