Giftings or Character?

There is a fascinating prophetic moment in John’s gospel in John 11:47-52 (NKJV)  Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”  And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.”  Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.

John specifically uses the terminology “he prophesied.”  This is the usual word  προφητεύω that is used in the New Testament.  Here Bauer tells us this means: “to foretell something that lies in the future, foretell, prophesy.  It is used of prophets and people of God in times past.”

Now, don’t miss the significance of this prophetic word by Caiaphas who was hardly noted as a prophetic person in the church.  This Caiaphas is the one who ended up orchestrating the death he prophesied about!  John 18:12-14 (NKJV) "Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him.  And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year.  Now it was Caiaphas who advised the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.”

So here is the point:

  1. Prophetic gifting is great!  I love the voice of the prophetic as much as anyone!
  2. However, the presence of the prophetic does not necessitate deep profound spirituality or maturity—-do you want Caiaphas to prophesy over you?
  3. The ancient fathers/mothers, who were writers, were very strong on spirituality and maturity.  Spiritual maturity consisted, they would write, hinged on two basic things.  First loving God, and secondly loving others.  This is nothing new, however—we need to remind ourselves of this over and over again.  
  4. I do not want to minimize the prophetic, but want to maximize spirituality.  And spirituality is not giftedness per say, it is character. “The growth is characterized by a yet greater conformity to Christ and a yet deeper participation in His crucified, redemptive love for the human race (Ralph Martin The Fulfillment of All Desire).”
  5. As far as the gift of prophecy or ministering with a spiritual gift, we need to consider three things.
    1. The gift of faith.  You prophecy according to your faith  (Romans 12:6)
    2. A sensitivity to hearing and listening to the voice of the Spirit  (Acts 9:29)
    3. A moment of surrender to that Voice and a willingness to speak  (Acts 21:9-11)

(Bauer's Lexicon (also Bauer Lexicon, Bauer's Greek Lexicon, and Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich) is among the most highly respected dictionaries of Biblical Greek.[1] The producers of the German forerunner are Erwin Preuschen and Walter Bauer. The English edition is A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (the 3rd edition was published in 2001 by the University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0226039331).


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