Sunday, 30 March 2014
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 1 Corinthians 1:26
For the past 8 verses, Paul has been speaking about the perceived foolishness of the message of the cross. Because it is something the intellectual can’t grasp apart from God’s divine revelation, it is considered foolish. Surely if there is a way to be saved, God would have revealed it in creation itself, right? And because the otherwise religious man can’t understand it apart from being viewed through the les of Christ, it seems foolish. Likewise, because the philosopher can’t figure out how to be saved through mental ruminations, it seems foolish.
However, these types of people are generally the mighty, the noble, and the wealthy. They are the ones who have the smarts to make things happen. Despite this, they don’t have the ability to perceive that God may actually be smarter than they are; that the depths of His wisdom can never be fully sought out.
And so, based on these things, Paul says, “For you see your calling, brethren…” He is speaking to those who have heard the calling of God through the message of the cross and have received it. This is certain because he calls them “brethren.” To them, he continues with “that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not may noble, are called.” This doesn’t mean that the wise can’t be saved. Nor does it mean that a great number of them won’t be saved. But in comparison to the vast majority who are saved, they are few in number.
Some people are “too smart” to be saved. Some are certain God must favor them because of their bloodline. The thought is, “If I was born into a great and wealthy family, then God must really like me.” Such thoughts about self obscure the message of the cross which says that we must die to self and put on the garment of Christ – having a righteousness that is not our own. Mental ability, wealth, position, good looks, fame, etc. are all roadblocks to that right and personal relationship with God that can only come through calling on the name of the Lord and being saved by Him – apart from any personal merit.
Life application: When you see the rich, famous, and wealthy making a mockery of God, pity them. They have a short life of ease and notoriety and an eternity of regret ahead of them. Pray that they will turn, humble themselves, and call out to Christ for salvation.
Lord God, I look around me and see those who mock You and arrogantly shake their fists in Your face. And yet, You loved them enough to send Jesus to save them too. I would pray that many would turn away from their hatred of You and be saved through the precious blood of Christ. I know this is what You desire and this is also what I pray for. May the hearts of the boastful be brought low before the glorious cross of Calvary. Amen.