The Contagious Nature of Anointing
I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone. (v17)
It is very significant that God does not say here that he will put his Spirit on the 70 elders, but that he will put the Spirit that is on Moses. Now obviously this is the same Spirit. There was not a different Holy Spirit on Moses, than was available directly from God. But this is the way God chooses to work; he imparts the Spirit through those who are already full of the Spirit. He chooses to impart gifts through those who already move strongly in that gift. Whatever anointing we have is contagious; it is designed to be passed on.
We see this clearly in Ephesians 4, where the ascension gifts of Christ are described. "It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up" (v11-12). We see that these ministries are not just to do a job - but to enable God's people to do the same job. Thus a prophet is not just someone who prophesies, but someone who makes the church more prophetic. This is exactly what we see in Numbers 11. The contagious spirit that is on Moses, the great prophet, causes 70 others to become prophetic and move out in the prophetic gift.
This is how ministries are supposed to work in the church. If they try to do it all themselves it becomes a burden. But if they communicate their gift and anointing to others, and each one plays their part, then the whole body is built up. Jesus, as in all things, is our ultimate example. He did not just do the work himself, but he too imparted himself to others, mainly to 12, but at another time it was 72. The seventy in Numbers 11, would thus seem to be a foreshadow of the seventy-two in Luke 10.
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