This passage gives the reader a great insight into the minds of the Prophets who spoke of Jesus' birth, life and death hundreds of years before He came. Firstly, we are told here that the Prophets searched and inquired about the salvation which was to come and secondly, that the Holy Spirit revealed things about Christ to them: for in the Prophetic books, it is not just about how He was to be born and die that we read, but what sort of character He would have and what His countenance would be. Read the short chapter of Isaiah 53 and be overwhelmed by its detail: 'nothing beautiful or majestic about His appearance', 'a man of sorrows and acquainted with deepest grief'. The Prophets had searching minds and the power of the Spirit was upon them, these men and women were flutes into which God's Spirit breathed, but they were also more than that: they searched for God's truth just as did the wise men who came seeking the Christ child. I think sometimes we slightly arrogantly feel that the Holy Spirit only began to make His presence felt after Christ's death, resurrection and ascension and some may date His arrival to the early 1970's! We read in Genesis 1 that the Holy Spirit was moving before the world was inhabited and so it is obvious that He continued to move and work in the world. I have just finished studies in the book of Exodus and there we can read about Bezalel, a master craftsman who was chosen to do the work of building the Tabernacle, but more than that: 'The LORD has filled him with the Spirit of God'. Peter also writes here of the job of the Preacher, which is principally the proclamation of the message of salvation. I recall a sixteen year old teenage girl began to attend the church in Cornwall, which I led before I came here. She had been watching the X Factor and one of the singers had testified that he received his joy from knowing Jesus by going to church. She walked into our church without knowing a bean about who Jesus is and she came for several months before joining the Army. We made sure that someone sat with her in church to explain why we did what we did, especially at times like Communion. The world is full of hungry people and the message of salvation cannot be left solely to the Preacher!
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