In Luke, the Holy Spirit guides all the action and empowers the life and ministry of Jesus.
Luke mentions the Holy spirit 13 times in his Gospel and 41 times in the Acts of the Apostles
Occurrences of the phrase are not scattered throughout the Gospel of Luke, as they are more prominent in the early chapters, speciﬁcally chapters 1–4. Specifically in relation to the births of Jesus and John the Baptist and the commencement of the ministry of Jesus.
It is suggested that Luke is presenting the themes of a new outpouring of the Spirit after many years of barrenness in Israel and of Jesus as the Spirit-ﬁlled servant of Isaiah’s prophecies.
All three synoptic Gospels record the transﬁguration, at which Moses and Elijah, the leaders of Israel at the time of these two past outpourings of the Spirit, appeared to Jesus to encourage him.
The Holy Spirit in the early Chapters of the Gospel of Luke
John “even before his birth he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit”
John “with the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him,……. to make ready a people prepared for the Lord”
Gabriel said to Mary regarding the conception of Jesus, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.’
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
When Zechariah recovered his voice on the naming of John the Baptist, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke a canticle called the Benedictus in which he praises God for looking favourable upon Israel.
“Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.”
Both John the Baptist and Jesus grew strong in the spirit.
John “grew and became strong in spirit”
Jesus “grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.”
The Baptism of Jesus. The holy Spirit descends upon him in bodily form like a dove and God speaks from heaven, “You are my Son,”
Jesus full of the Holy Spirit returned from the Jordan and was led by the spirit in to the wilderness where for 40 days he was tempted by the devil.
Jesus returns to Galilee filled with the power of the spirit and enters the synagogue in Nazareth and quotes from Isaiah 61:1-2 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me”.
4:18 Why this emphasis on the Spirit in the early chapters of Luke?
It is surely because Luke, himself inspired by the Spirit, is setting out the fact that, after centuries when the Spirit was not active in Israel, a new and greater outpour- “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel” (2:32). The Old Testament prophets centuries before had told of the Messiah to come “in…