1 Corinthians 1:18-25
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
In thinking through Luke 2, it occurred to me (again) that the gospel is in some ways ridiculous. Don't get me wrong, I believe it completely. I am a Christian, Jesus is my Lord and saviour. But God chose to save us (through his infinite wisdom) in a way that demands complete humility to accept.Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
Here are a few examples.
- First, God becoming a man. God, who is holy, perfect, just, all-powerful, all-knowing, and many other things became a human. Definitely not impossible for God to do, but if you don't believe the gospel then it probably sounds pretty weird.
Why did he do that? To save sinful humans. From our selfish perspectives this is stupid - God/Jesus gave up his eternal glory for a time to live among and save those who have (and continue to) reject him. We're selfish and in that position we'd probably just judge the world and not save anyone. Instead God gave up his only son to save us.
- Second, Jesus, who is God, wasn't born as a king. No he was born in a (probably dirty) stable. He was rejected from birth. What's more - we rejected him so much that we killed him. We (Humans) murdered Jesus. Of course, we know that God had planned for that to happen because by dying Jesus took the sin of everyone who will turn to him. He took my sin and too God's wrath for it. That was always God's plan to save us. The Jews wanted a physical king. No God chose to save us through death, and therefore save us eternally.
- Third, Jesus rose again. He truly did. Yet to non-Christians that's ridiculous. People don't come back to life from the dead (unless it is God bringing them back to life, but we don't see that now-days). But by rising to life Jesus proves that our sin is truly dealt with if we are his people, and that we also will rise again.
The gospel is 'foolishness' to the Gentiles and a stumbling block to the Jews. The Jews were waiting for an earthly king who would make their nation great. The Gentiles think it's stupid.
But God chose to save us in this way because it demands faith and humility. He has proven more than enough that this is the truth. The whole bible is full of proof. The OT is full of prophecy about all of this (undeniably written before Jesus' birth and death). The NT explains and proves why it was necessary to save us and why God chose to do this. But to believe it is to look like an idiot. I've had so many people tell me (on Facebook mostly) that I'm an idiot for worshiping a 'Jewish-Zombie'. Jesus isn't a Zombie. He lives and he will return to Judge.
The gospel looks ridiculous to those who are not saved by it. So we need to be genuinely humble to truly accept it. To truly believe that it is the truth. God chose to save us in this way because only those he calls are able to accept it - not because we are better than others but because God works in us to convict us and to convince us of the truth of the gospel.
Here's one other point which is linked into this. No one would have made this up. No one would have made it up, and no one could have made Jesus fit the OT prophecies so perfectly. If they had, then they almost certainly wouldn't have been prepared to die for it (All the apostles except John were killed for their faith, John was exiled). It has to be God who has saved. I has to be God's plan.
"The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength".
God knows what he's doing. He has saved us in a marvelous way.
Do you accept the gospel as truth?
Soli Deo Gloria.