When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. —Matthew 7:28-29
God cares about the honor of His name. But He cares even more about His integrity, which is His Word. This is why Psalm 138:2 says that God has magnified His Word over all His name.
Signs, wonders, and miracles were first unveiled in the Bible when God revealed His name to Moses (Exod. 6:2-3). Yet God wants His Word to be magnified above signs and wonders. Salvation is more important than miracles. Salvation was thus unveiled to Abraham four hundred years before the era of signs and wonders. We are not saved by signs and wonders but by the gospel.
We must be careful, therefore, to walk in obedience to all the Word. Jesus said, "Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms" (Luke 24:44). "Not the least stroke of a pen" would be omitted from the fulfillment of the Law (Matt. 5:18). This shows how clearly and carefully God regards every word He utters.
When Jesus healed a boy with an evil spirit, "they were all amazed at the greatness of God" (Luke 9:43, emphasis added). And yet the exact same word, ekplesso, is used to describe the affect of Jesus' words when He finished the Sermon on the Mount.
This shows that Jesus could amaze people by His word as easily as by signs and wonders! Indeed, when He put the Sadducees in their place, the crowds "were astonished [same Greek word] at his teaching" (Matt. 22:33, emphasis added).
If Jesus could amaze and astonish either by His word or by miracles, it seems to me that this should happen today as well. But we apparently have lost faith in the power of the Word and fancy that miraculous healings alone can restore God's honor. In my opinion, either should do this.
Excerpted from The Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Charisma House, 2003).
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