1 Corinthians 1:18-31; 1 Kings 14; Joel 2:1-11
“For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:22-24 NKJV)
Totally ridiculous! That’s how both Jews and Greeks saw Paul’s proclamation of the gospel. Jews asked and looked for signs. If you don’t believe it, how many times did the disciples ask Jesus to give them a sign? And these were the people who followed Jesus. The looked for the sign of the coming Messiah who would wipe out the Romans on the field of battle and send them back to Rome with their tails between their legs. Greeks, however, looked for wisdom. They sought to attain a higher plane without the encumbrances their body placed upon them and so the idea of “resurrection” was completely contrary to their hopes and dreams. Paul could have tailored his preaching to adapt to these concerns; instead, He preached the ridiculous truth of God to all people. He knew that those who recognized the crucified and resurrected Jesus as the power and wisdom of God were people called by God to leave the world of sin behind.
The gospel seems totally ridiculous today as well. The gospel speaks of faith and the spiritual side of life to a world enamored with science and materialism. The gospel claims exclusive rights to developing a relationship with God in a world that sees religious diversity as a positive thing. The gospel seeks to include all people in a world that seeks to pigeonhole people into groups based on their skin color, their nationality, or their lifestyles. As totally ridiculous as it seems, though, the gospel message of God’s love for all people and the payment of the penalty for sin when Jesus died on the cross continues to be the power of God and the wisdom of God for a world that needs to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.
Remind me, Lord, that the message I share with others is a significant message filled with Your power and wisdom. Remind me that it changed the world in the past and it will continue to change the world in the future.