18 The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are being destroyed. But it is the power of God for those of us who are being saved. 19 It is written in scripture: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will reject the intelligence of the intelligent. 20 Where are the wise? Where are the legal experts? Where are today’s debaters? Hasn’t God made the wisdom of the world foolish? 21 In God’s wisdom, he determined that the world wouldn’t come to know him through its wisdom. Instead, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of preaching. 22 Jews ask for signs, and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, which is a scandal to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. 24 But to those who are called—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom. 25 This is because the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
It doesn’t take long, scrolling through your news feed or social media, to find something unbelievable. When most people see or hear something unbelievable they often react by saying “where’s your proof” or “how do you know that?” We believe that “seeing is believing” or that “knowledge is power.” But neither of these methods brings us to the truth, it usually ends up with us re-enforcing our own one sided viewpoint. We usually end up grasping at it from the wrong way around. Our approach to faith in God can be like this too, we think we have it all figured out, but there’s no denying that Jesus died on the cross for our salvation. To us it seems unbelievable, to God it is all loving grace.
We have more in common with the Jews and Greeks that Paul encountered than we think. The Jews needed to see signs to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. The Greeks relied on human wisdom to understand the cosmos. To both, the death of Jesus by crucifixion was a scandal. To God this is all foolishness. We think faith starts with us reaching out to God first, but it doesn’t, God was seeking us out all along. God turns the expectations of the world upside down. It is the power of God that saves us.
Faith, that belief in our loving God, doesn’t come from seeing miracles or gaining years of accumulated knowledge. Faith comes from God’s grace, offered freely to us, poured out through Jesus’ suffering and dying on the cross to pay the price for our sins. God’s grace and forgiveness destroys all human need for signs or wisdom, and we find that God’s gift of salvation was God’s plan for the Kin(g)-dom all along.
The love of God is greater than anything we can understand. Held in God’s loving care, there’s no denying the cross, foolish as it may seem to the world. The power of God through Jesus, God’s redeeming love, is greater than all signs and wisdom. So we are called by God to be God’s children and to share the good news with others, and to be servants for nothing less than the transformation of the world.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Today think about the power of God poured out through Jesus in your life, and give God thanks. Who can you share the good news of Jesus with today?
Prayer: Holy God, we can often be foolish and try to do things by our own reason, remind us that we rely on your loving power and the redeeming power of your forgiveness through Jesus. Amen.