Luke: The Holy Spirit
Luke: The Holy Spirit
A particular characteristic of Luke’s Gospel is his emphasis on the very real presence and power of the Holy Spirit
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100 Stand Alone Bible Studies

Bible Passages

Luke 3:15–16

The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. John answered them all, “I baptise you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

Luke 3:21–22 (compare Mark 1:10 and Matthew 3:16)

When all the people were being baptised, Jesus was baptised too. And as he
was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove.

Luke 4:1

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the

Luke 4:16–20

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim
good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The
eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Luke 11:13

“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Luke 12:10–12

“And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

“When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not
worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”


A particular characteristic of Luke’s Gospel is his emphasis on the very real presence and power of the Holy Spirit. This ties in with his concern for the poor and the outcast (see our study entitled “Lifting up the lowly”, and his emphasis on inclusion (see study on “A gospel for the whole world”).

The opening chapters of Luke’s Gospel take us through examples of the Holy
Spirit residing in people often excluded from religious elites (Luke 1:15, 35, 41, 67; 2:25–26). Mary the unmarried girl is pregnant by the action of the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist, as yet unborn, leaps in his mother’s womb in response to the presence of his Lord, and is described as being “strong in the Spirit” in childhood. His mother, Elizabeth, who had been barren, was also made fertile by the Holy Spirit’s miracle. Old Anna and Simeon at the Temple are motivated and filled by the Holy Spirit. The old, the women, the little children (even unborn; and see also Luke 10:21), and those socially inferior (the unmarried mother, the barren woman) all are included in this blessing of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Through his Gospel, Luke teaches that the Holy Spirit is for everyone, and
that it is through his power that spiritual ministry is accomplished and the good news effectively passed on.



Holy Spirit of God, without you we are nothing and can do nothing worthwhile. In your love and grace, please fill us; please stay with us and never depart from us. Transform us into the likeness of Jesus so that even the smallest details of our daily lives are illumined by the light of your presence. For we ask it in Jesus’ holy name; Amen.