One day He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing. (Luke 5:17 NASB)
This was a hard verse for me, because of that last phrase. It sounded to me as if Jesus had power at times and other times did not, but the word for power used here is also used in other passages to describe the power that emanated from Him. It is the power that the woman with the hemorrhage of blood accessed when she touched the hem of His garment. This is not intermittent power Jesus had that day, it means even greater power. My difficulty in understanding came from failing to take the verse in context. Charles Spurgeon clarified the situation for me when he wrote, in his sermon "Carried by Four" (#981) in 1871:
"He withdrew into the wilderness to hold communion with his Father, and, as a consequence, to come forth clothed with an abundance of healing and saving power. Not but that in himself as God he always had that power without measure; but for our sakes he did it, that we might learn that the power of God will only rest upon us in proportion as we draw near to God."
Jesus had just returned from a prayer retreat in the wilderness, which was the source of His direction and strength. This verse demonstrates for us the abundance of power available from time spent drawing near to God.
Selah. Pause and consider.
Jesus was fully human and fully God. In His humanness, He consciously made an effort to go to a quiet place and spend time in private prayer and listening (conversation) with God. As a result of that time, He had greater power. Spurgeon is right. It points out to us what is available if we were just willing to spend serious time seeking God and drawing near to Him.
In this past year, did you experience an abundance of power from on high? Could it be that lack of power is a result of a lack of prayer time? As we begin 2014, commit to seek The Lord to such a degree that He will be able to use you for the miraculous because of the power of God that rests upon you. This power only comes from God and only comes out of quality quiet time with Him, but it is as available today as it was in Jesus's time.
Pray today that God will draw us and our loved ones into such relationship with Him that we emerge from our time with Him clothed in His power and His righteousness.