Friday, 28 March 2014
…but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:24
In the previous verse, we read that the apostles preached “Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness.” Without the crucifixion of Christ, there would be no atonement, no forgiveness, and no reconciliation with God. But the message seems foolish to the majority of those who hear it, both Jew and Gentile. However, Paul tells us that “to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks,” there is an understanding that what God has done in Christ is of the utmost value and importance.
Because he mentions “Jews and Greeks” in one verse it is saying that regardless of heritage, there is one body in Christ. We are shown in Romans 3 that there is no difference between Jew and Greek because both are bound under sin. In Galatians 3:28, he tells us that “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” In Ephesians 2:14, he says that the “middle wall of separation” is broken down. The middle wall was a barrier at the temple which separated the Jews from the Gentiles. These distinctions are now erased in Christ.
But it goes further. The term “Greeks” here is used to represent all Gentiles. Paul is saying that it makes absolutely no difference where one is from, what their lineage is, nor the color of their skin. There is one body comprised of people from all groups, male and female alike. And they have all come to the same glorious conclusion, which is “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
Because all are bound under sin, then there must be a level playing field on how that sin is removed. As we cannot do it, then it is obviously beyond our power and our wisdom. As this is certain, then it truly is a demonstration of “the power of God and the wisdom of God.” Jew and Greek alike fall short of the remedy, but God makes the offer. Therefore, the person who accepts the gift, though possibly with a mental defect, has more wisdom than the most intelligent minds of humanity who reject it.
Think of it! A mentally-challenged person who is ridiculed by those around him has the ability to grasp what they cannot. The little child who receives Jesus by faith has a greater understanding of God’s salvation than the scientist who works on nuclear physics but who shuns Christ. And the believing slave who is beaten and scorned by the master, has a greater position by far than the non-believing master will ever imagine! This is the wisdom of God and the foolishness of man. It is the glory of God revealed in an instrument of scorn and shame. It is the cross of Jesus Christ – power, wisdom, and majesty from heaven’s throne!
Life application: Do you feel snubbed by the world sometimes because of your faith? So what! You have access to heaven’s riches. All they have is temporary access to earth’s vanishing vapors. Stand fast in your faith in Jesus Christ – the power of God, and the wisdom of God for all who believe.
Lord, You know that I’m not the brightest bulb in the world. You fashioned me and You know my every limitation and fault. But Lord, You also know my heart… I love You, I cherish You, and I cling to Your cross. Though all the world mocks me to shame, I will never let go of this glorious display of love, power, wisdom, and life. I will never let go of my faith in You. Amen.