3/25/2004 0 Comments
Signs and Wisdom
My son, Bryan and I were driving down a steep road when we encountered a peculiar sign. It said, “Caution—Hill Obscures View”. Well duh! We laughed at the great wisdom displayed! Maybe it’s the way my brain works, but that set me to thinking about signs and miracles. Does it seem like people are unimpressed with the obvious and bore easily today in an age where technology renders the sufficient obsolete?
1 Corinthians 1:22,23--For the Jews ask for signs and the Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles.
Throughout Jesus’ ministry, religious leaders insisted that Jesus produce signs to prove that He was the Messiah. But Jesus did not comply with such requests. He exercised supernatural power only when it was in keeping with God’s will in the ministry before Him. When the gospel spread to the Gentile world, signs retained their popularity but to cerebral Greeks it was the wonder of wisdom that mattered. Not much has changed umpteen centuries later.
Countless people gravitate towards ministries where signs are emphasized. Now I am not one who believes that miracles were limited to the time of Christ and the Apostles. I personally saw God miraculously heal Bryan from an incurable brain tumor. Around the world there are verifiably accurate reports of God still raising people from the dead and healing incurable diseases. In India I visited a retreat center where AIDS patients are supernaturally healed. As a result many have placed their faith in Jesus. There is nothing inherently wrong with admiring signs or wonders.
There are also those who are skeptical of anything that defies natural laws. They venerate rational, humanistic thought. They call themselves Christians yet reveal enlightenment as embracing what the Scripture calls perverse. Some honestly yearn to amass knowledge but miss Solomon’s observation: “The wise man has eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. Yet I also knew that one fate comes to them both” (Ecclesiastes 2:14).
Our central focus should never be on miracles or philosophical acuity. If we worship the One crucified for our sin, resurrected for our salvation we will experience His power and we will grow wise. Jesus did not multiply five loaves to impress 5000 men. He wanted them to understand that He was the Bread of Life. “ So Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves” (John 6:53). After this teaching many no longer followed Him. The wisetripped over cannibalism while the unschooled fisherman recognized the “Holy One of God” (John 6:69). Keep your heart in worship and you will keep your heart.
The error of the “signs and wonders” movement is that the eye is fixed not on Jesus, but on our own whiteness, or on the amazing of those around us because of what God has done. Jesus Christ never went on that line, and the unobtrusive kind of life He lived is exactly the kind of life the saints are to live. There was no “show business” with the Son of God, and there is to be no “show business” with the saints.—Oswald Chambers in Bringing Sons Into Glory
©2004 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
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Photo used under Creative Commons from Rachel Maxey Miles