March 01, 2021 – Monday
1 Corinthians 1:21-23 NIV
21 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.
22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles
These are some of my favorite verses, probably because the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe was nothing more than the message of the cross. What was the message of the cross? God’s love and love so great He had His only begotten Son, the Jewish Messiah, to die on the cross for our sins, the sins of the world.
It is interesting the Jews demanded signs but instead got Jesus on the cross and then Jesus resurrected. The Pharisees and Sadducees could accept neither. Greeks looked for and wanted wisdom, but how are they to find wisdom in the love of God through Christ crucified? Clearly as verse 23 tells us Christ crucified was a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles.
When Paul wrote God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached, he may have been referring to what Jesus had to say in Luke 10:21, I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for so it pleased You well. It would seem so when we look at the next few verses after our verses for today (v24-25), 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.
However, let’s go to the verses preceding where we read, 18 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. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” [Isaiah 29:14] 20 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? God does not oppose the wisdom of the wise, but as Isaiah wrote, He will destroy the wisdom of the wise who deny Him. Guizk relates an anecdote from one of Albert Einstein’s classes where, One day, students in one of Albert Einstein’s classes were saying they had decided that there was no God. Einstein asked them, how much of all the knowledge in the world they had amongst themselves collectively, as a class. The students discussed it for a while and decided they had 5% of all human knowledge amongst themselves. Einstein thought that their estimate was a little generous, but he replied: “Is it possible that God exists in the 95% that you don’t know?” Clearly Einstein was no fool and knew the limits of his knowledge and wisdom.
Look at who Jesus chose as His disciples, fishermen, a tax collector, and eventually a renegade Pharisee. Yes, He used the foolish to bring His message to the world. Knowledge and wisdom are good until they know better than God what is good and what is sin. We cannot be fooled by the so-called wisdom of the world when it comes to sin and God.
Prayer: Father God – Thank You for Your incredible love for us. A love so great you demonstrated it on the cross. I am so thankful for the grace You have granted all who will accept it. – In Jesus name. Amen.