Before we answer that specific question, it is good to see that Jesus did indeed perform miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Matthew chapter 12 we have the account of Jesus healing one who was “demon-possessed, blind and mute” (verse 12). The Lord Jesus attributes this healing to the Holy Spirit in verse 27, “But if I cast out demons BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (NKJV). Jesus had foretold the miracles He would perform through the Holy Spirit at the beginning of His public ministry, “And He (Jesus) was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, to set at liberty those who are oppresses; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD” (Luke 4:17-19). We conclude from this that Jesus only performed miracles AFTER He received the Holy Spirit and that all miracles were done in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Regarding your question, I believe the answer is YES and NO. YES, Jesus “could” have done miracles before receiving the Holy Spirit for JESUS IS GOD! As God, He is able to perform any miracle. You may recall the miracle Jesus performed on the Sea of Galilee when His disciples were in a boat and Peter was walking on the water to meet Jesus. We read in Matthew 14:30-33, “But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, THE WIND CEASED. Then those who were in the boat came and worshipped Him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God.’” This miracle convinced His disciples that He was THE SON OF GOD. Jesus did not rebuke them for this confession, for He was not only a Man, He was “God manifest in the flesh” (see John 1:1, 14; Philippians 2:5-8 and 1st Timothy 3:16).

NO, Jesus was not able to do miracles before He received the Holy Spirit, for He was subject to His Father’s will and the Father never commanded Him to perform a miracle. Let’s read some scriptures which bring out His unswerving obedience to the Father’s will. “Therefore, when He (the Son of God) came into the world He said, ‘…Behold, I have come—in the volume of the book it is written of Me—to do Your will, O God.’” (Hebrews 10:5 & 7). “And He (Jesus, at the age of 12) said to them (His parents, Mary and Joseph), ‘Why did you seek Me?’ Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?’” (Luke 2:49). “Jesus said to them (His disciples), ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.’” (John 4:34). Surely if the Father HAD commanded Him to do a miracle before receiving the Holy Spirit, He would have done so.

We may very well ask, “Why didn’t the Father command Him to perform a miracle until He received the Holy Spirit?” The answer is found in the first verse we quoted, “If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, SURELY THE KINGDOM OF GOD HAS COME UPON YOU” (Matthew 12:12). The main purpose for Jesus doing miracles was to show His people that He was their MESSIAH and that the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN was at hand. One of His first messages to Israel was, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:14). Miracles often accompanied this message to confirm the Word, as we see in Hebrews 2:3-4, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord…God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?” This passage clearly teaches that it wasn’t the Father’s will for His Son to do miracles UNTIL He received the Holy Spirit and began to manifest Himself to Israel as their long-awaited Messiah. (340.1) (DO)