Occasionally after preaching I’ve been told something like, “Good word!”, and, in some of the circles I run in, one of the favorite phrases is, “That’s a good word, right there!” What some mean by this is usually something like, “You did a great job preaching the Word tonight”, while in charismatic circles it tends to mean “God was prophetically speaking through you and I was encouraged.” Now, I’m all for “good words” whether they be fallible preaching of the revealed Word of God or fallible prophetic words given by God to his people to edify one another, but I am reminded in Hebrews that the best word has already been given. It has been spoken in the past and continues to speak today.
God’s greatest revelation of himself to his people is his Son, Jesus.
God has given the best word–the goodest word, if you will–in Jesus. Hebrews 1 says that God has spoken to his people throughout history through the prophets (1:1), but that something has definitively changed, that is, God has now “spoken to us by his Son” (1:2). The prophetic words of God have reached their fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ. He is the greatest message from God–because he is the fulfillment of all the prior messages from God and is, in fact, the very divine Word of God (Jn. 1:1, 14). God’s greatest revelation of himself to his people is his Son, Jesus. The writer to the Hebrews gives us some of the reasons for this:
Sadly, sometimes in evangelicalism there is an incessant Christian hunt for a better word.
- Jesus is “the heir of all things” (1:2)
- Jesus was the person “through” which God “created the world” (1:2)
- Jesus is the “radiance of the glory of God”(1:3)
- Jesus is the “exact imprint of [God’s] nature” (1:3)
- Jesus “upholds the universe by the word of his power” (1:3)
- Jesus made “purification for sins” (1:3)
- Jesus is exalted and reigns “at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (1:3)
Therefore we are to measure fallible “good words”–be it preaching, teaching, prophecy, etc–by how much it highlights and pushes us to this glorious Jesus.
Sadly, sometimes in evangelicalism there is an incessant Christian hunt for a better word. We need a better preacher than the one we have, a better Christian podcast than the same ole’ same ole, a better prophetic word than the last one, a better conference with better speakers, a better author or the same author with a bigger & better book, a better something. Oftentimes I think this is because we are looking for something new when we should be looking for something God has already revealed in Jesus.
God’s got nothing better to say than what he’s already spoken in Jesus.
Jesus is the best word from God you will ever hear. There isn’t anything better. Ever. The hunt is over. God’s voice to us simply doesn’t get any better than Jesus.
The problem is we often want a Jesus shaped in our own image and not the glorious Jesus that will shape us in his. If you are desperate to hear the voice of God–to hear a good word–run to God’s Son Jesus and do so by breathing in the breath of God’s Spirit in the Book. I do not mean that God won’t speak to you personally or from others in fresh ways, but I do mean that God’s got nothing better to say than what he’s already spoken in Jesus.
All preaching, teaching, prophetic gifting, etc., is only as good as its reflects and reveals God’s Son. God’s Son is God’s goodest Word.