Luke 6:19

“And the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all”

– Luke 6:19, NIV

When Jesus chooses His twelve apostles, a new period in His ministry begins. Before Jesus chose them, He spent all night in prayer. When it was day, He called His disciples together and selected twelve and called them “apostles.”


The twelve included Judas Iscariot who became a traitor. We might be prone to think that this was a mistake. In our way of reasoning, we would think that spending all night in prayer would help Jesus avoid this mistake. However, it was not a mistake. All of this was in the plan of God. As a result of his actions, Judas perished. Jesus (John 17:12) regarded his perishing as a fulfillment of prophecy. Likewise Peter, who cites Psalm 41:9, regarded (Acts 1:16) the betrayal of Jesus by Judas as a fulfillment of prophecy.

Jesus and the Multitude

After the apostles were chosen, Jesus came down with them and a multitude of disciples to a “level place.” People were there from all Judea and Jerusalem and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon. The people came to hear Jesus and to be healed of their diseases. Special attention was given to those who were afflicted by demons. Luke says (6:18), “And they that were troubled with unclean spirits were healed.”


While Jesus ministered, the people were trying to touch Jesus. The reason was clear enough. As Luke (v. 19) says, “power (dunamis) was coming from Him and healing them all.” Once again, Luke uses the word power rather than identifying the Holy Spirit. As usual, Luke does not directly connect the Holy Spirit with miracles, exorcisms, and healings. We have no difficulty, however, in seeing from Luke’s record that the Spirit is the source of power.

We know that Jesus had power as the Son of God, but He was empowered also by the Holy Spirit. According to Luke 4:114, and 18, the Spirit of God was upon Jesus in great power. Thus, we know that the Spirit worked through Him. Apparently, Jesus chose to work by the power of the Spirit rather than by His own power. This self-limitation in the use of His own divine power was a part of His incarnation and identification with man.


Erdman, Charles R. The Gospel of Luke. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 19.
Hawthorne, Gerald F. The Presence and the Power. Dallas: Word Publishing, 1991.
Lenski, R. C. H. St. Luke’s Gospel. Columbus: The Wartburg Press, 1946.
Marshall, I. Howard. The Gospel of Luke. Exeter, The Paternoster Press, 1978.
Walvoord, John F. The Holy Spirit. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1954.

Copyright 2000 © George M. Flattery

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