1 Corinthians 1-4: The Foolishness of God

1 Corinthians 1:22-25:

22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

You may be familiar with this passage. In fact, you should be familiar with this passage. It brings something very important into focus, namely, the cross.

Paul’s time in Corinth was devoted to one thing, preaching Christ crucified. He did not do this because it was a popular subject among the Corinthians; he did it because they desperately needed to hear it. The Jews at this time were looking for the Messiah, some great sign to prove that maybe this Jesus was who He said He was (the resurrection didn’t seem to be enough for them), and the Greeks wanted to be wowed by words of eloquent wisdom. But Paul brought none of that.

He preached a message that the Jews couldn’t wrap their heads around, that the Messiah had to die. It was a message that the Greeks thought was just silly, for no one rises from the dead. But that is the point Paul’s trying to make. This is UNBELIEVABLE news that we MUST believe. It looks foolish, it looks impossible, but even God’s most foolish action, if there were such a thing, is wiser than man.

The death of Christ IS the wisdom of God most clearly displayed. Over all creation, over every heavenly and earthly power, stands the cross as the pinnacle of God’s wisdom and power. It is the the message that everyone needs to hear. The Kings saves His subjects by standing condemned in their place. The Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep. The Creator dies to save the creature.

The cross of Christ will look foolish to many, but, like Paul, we must make ourselves fools for Christs sake in order that they might come to understand the incomparable wisdom in the foolishness of God.

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