In verse 13 of the 11th chapter of Luke, the Holy Spirit is the ultimate example of a good gift which a perfect father, our Heavenly Father, could give.

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13 ESV)

The role of the Spirit in Luke’s Gospel and the book of Acts is a very central theme as he emphasizes the importance of what takes place in the disciples’ lives. Within the temporal setting of Jesus’ speaking to his disciples about prayer and praying to God as “Father”, the gift of the Spirit in their lives is as good as a gift gets short of the redemption that is to come about through Jesus’ death on the cross.

The role of the Holy Spirit in our understanding of God’s Fatherhood and our adopted sonship through Christ is something akin to God placing his identity upon us, that is, within us. Paul would later refer to the Holy Spirit as God’s seal upon those he has adopted as his own (Ephesians 1:13). While Luke does not flesh this thought out in great depth, as a historian he often refers to the work of the Holy Spirit in his writing of both Luke and Acts. Clearly in Luke’s thought, the disciples could not have carried out the task ahead of them without God’s Spirit in them. Additionally, this reference comes at the end of a passage rich with the language of the Father-Child relationship, likely giving the meaning a special point of emphasis.

[Curiously, having gotten rather lost in my notes toward the end of this sermon on Luke 11, I did fail to explain or even mention the reference to the Holy Spirit. Consider this a mulligan.]

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