THE WORD IS
Fireworks color the sky - for a moment - into beautiful configurations. They cause us to forget the twinkling of the stars. Fireworks provide a moment of joy, but the stars in the heavens shine continuously.
The Bible tells us of Jesus' seventy disciples who had been overcome by a sudden burst of enthusiasm and joy. When Jesus had sent them out to proclaim the message: "The kingdom of God has come near to you" (Luke 10:9), He had also given them the power to perform miracles. Now they return from their mission and say: "Even the demons are subject to us in Your name" (Luke 10:17). Why did the disciples perform miracles?
At that time the disciples had a very special message to proclaim. When Herod imprisoned John the Baptist, these 70 became the forerunners of Christ. Their task was to proclaim the news that the promised Messiah had come. That was the meaning of the message: "The kingdom of God has come near to you." A momentous event of this type needed attestation. In the name of Jesus the disciples healed the sick and acted as His servants. In this way they demonstrated that the word they proclaimed was true. If Jesus had been a mere human being, no one could have healed the sick in His name. The disciples were given the power to perform miracles so that their hearers would listen to their preaching and would believe that Jesus was the Savior of sinners.
At certain critical times God has used miracles. They have never been an end in themselves, but have always served some purpose. God confirmed the word of the New Testament with miracles (Mark 16:20). Because we now have this confirmed Word of God, we no longer need miracles. Jesus disciples in their enthusiasm put matters in the wrong sequence. But fortunately they came to Jesus, and Jesus set them straight. They had gone from the Word to miracles, and from the joy of salvation to being enchanted by miracles. They should have progressed from miracles to the Word, from their own works to Jesus, and should have served Him with thankful hearts because they had been saved. Here is the difference between a healthy and a fanatical Christianity. Jesus says: "Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven" (Luke 10:20).
Fireworks cease, the stars continue to shine. Miracles are for critical times; they cease, but the Word of God endures and we endure through It's power.