1Co 1:22-25 “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
The Jews require a sign (Mar 8:11, Joh 6:30). Even though Jesus fulfilled all the law and the prophets, God’s chosen people under the law were blinded to it. They had determined for themselves that the Messiah would certainly come in a manner that would elevate the Jews above other men. This carpenter’s son did not fit their ideal of what Israel’s King should look like or do.
The Greeks were wrapped up in hearing new things (Act 17:21). They greatly desired the wisdom of men. The doctrine that Paul came preaching intrigued them. However, the notion of a man who had been killed on a Roman cross coming forth from the grace three days later was an idea the many of them found laughable. Others remained curious, and decided they would hear Paul speak again of these matters.
Jesus himself rebuked those that came seeking for a sign, calling them “an evil and adulterous generation.” He pointed them to Jonah, saying they had already been given a sign. He explained that as Jonah had been in the belly of the whale for three days and nights, so He would be in the heart of the earth (Mat 12:39-40). As it was with the Jew’s religion in that day, many religions today are still demanding some supernatural wonder or, as with the Greeks, seeking after their own wisdom.
We do not need to make a big deal of pointing out how foolish these actions are. What we should be doing is preaching Christ crucified. When we preach a crucified Christ, we are declaring the fulfillment of God’s purpose and grace. It is the declaration that Jesus alone paid the debt for our sins, and that in Him alone was a kingdom established that tore down the middle wall of partition, calling both the Jew and the Greek into God’s service together.
While this is still a snare to much of the religious world and treated as utter nonsense by others, there is a remnant (both Jew and Greek) that find solace in this blessed truth. We find solace in it because we have been called by God in Christ before the world began (2Ti 1:8-9). To those of us who are appointed of God and sanctified, the preaching of Christ crucified is both the power and wisdom of God: it is only sign we need and the only wisdom we seek.
We realize that God is neither foolish nor weak, but Paul is making a very clear point here. While men may consider the preaching of the gospel foolish, this foolishness that God has ordained is wiser than the deepest wisdom of men. Even though there are many in this world who consider our walk of faith weak-minded, our faith comes from God and is stronger than men.
May we always be grateful to Him that He has called us to believe the “foolishness” of preaching Christ crucified and to rejoice in the “weakness” of faith in our resurrected Lord!