Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Ministry of the Holy Spirit
Numbers 11:23-30


Pradeep John
 Connecticut Mar Thoma Congregation

28 Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aide since youth, spoke up and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!”  29 But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” 30 Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

Context of the passage is Moses leading the Israelites through the wilderness to the Promised Land. Here Moses gets tired and frustrated by the wailing of the Israelites for meat. Moses complains to God about the heavy burden of the people he was asked to carry and prays to God for help. God provides a solution and asks to gather seventy elders from among the tribes to share the responsibility with Moses. When the elders were assembled, God took some of the spirit from Moses and put it on the elders. The elders on receiving the spirit began to prophesize.  Two of the elders did not come to the tabernacle but stayed in the tent and prophesized.  Joshua asked Moses to stop the two elders from prophesizing in the tent. Moses reply is the above theme verse.
It was a gracious response from Moses to Joshua. He wished all God’s people be filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesy. Jesus made it possible that all believers have the spirit of God in them by dying for our sins and sending a helper for us (John 14:16). On the day of Pentecost, the wish of Moses was fulfilled with God sending His spirit on the assembly of disciples and believers that all could speak in a language that the other could understand. All of us believers, who are baptized in the name of the Father, son and Holy Spirit, are born again in the Holy Spirit. Our spiritual growth is essential for the realization of the spirit within us and allowing the spirit to control us.

In the desert God shows us by sharing the burden of Moses among the elders what His prescribed approach to ministry is. Jesus expects that all Gods people, who are equipped with the gifts of spirit, work together in the ministry to spread the Gospel and use the gifts given to each one to glorify God. All faithful believers should share the burden and responsibility of each other and be committed to the gospel ministry as one body in Christ. In the ministry three of the greatest sins are Laziness, Jealousy and Boredom. When Joshua asks Moses to stop the two elders from prophesy, Moses responded “Are you jealous for my sake? “. In our Christian lives we all face these issues. Instead of being zealous to do God’s work, we envy others and hinder God’s work.


Almighty and Gracious God, grant us Your spirit and a humble heart that we may be Your instruments to spread the Gospel to the entire world.

Those in whom the Spirit comes to live are God's new Temple. They are, individually and corporately, places where heaven and earth meet. – N. T. Wright