In his time on earth, Jesus performed many miracles. Was this due to his own power, or was Jesus filled with the Holy Spirit?
The Bible testifies that Jesus as God voluntarily emptied Himself to assume the form of man:
Phil. 2:6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
Phil. 2:7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
Phil. 2:8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Christ’s choice to be born as a man required that He “emptied” Himself. The Greek word translated emptied means to make void, of no effect. Jesus voided His position of power to assume the form of a man, a form lower in power than angels. His identity was unchanged; He was still God, yet Het voluntarily gave up the power and position at the righthand of the Father. He did so to accomplish the plan of redemption in obedience to the Father, and once the plan was finished, Jesus returned to His rightful position:
Heb. 10:11 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;
Heb. 10:12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God,
Heb. 10:13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet.
Therefore, when Jesus began His earthly ministry, He required the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to perform miracles. Jesus received the Holy Spirit at the moment of His water baptism, which began His three-year ministry. We can see Jesus’ limits as man in Mark’s Gospel:
Mark 6:1 Jesus went out from there and came into His hometown; and His disciples followed Him.
Mark 6:2 When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands?
Mark 6:3 “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him.
Mark 6:4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.”
Mark 6:5 And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.
Jesus entered His hometown where those who knew Him best took offense to Him. As a result, Jesus could do no miracles there. This tells us that He was enabled (or prevented) in doing miracles according to the will of the Spirit working in Christ. Christ's lessor position as man does not diminish His authority or identity as God, but it did restrict His power. Jesus willingly assumed this position Paul says.
Therefore, Christ used the power of God to perform miracles, and that power was given to Him by the Holy Spirit because Jesus had given up His own power to be born a man in obedience to the plan of God.
You can learn more about the Spirit working in Jesus as man in our John study.