Monday, August 6, 2018

God’s Foolishness

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those of us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
- 1 Corinthians 1:18

Within this unimaginably huge universe of ours, we are tiny dots on a tiny planet. Think about it: The Milky Way galaxy contains around 100 billion stars. And as huge as the Milky Way galaxy is, it’s only one of about 100 billion galaxies in the known universe. Looking up into the heavens, it’s no wonder the psalmist asked God in Psalm 8:4, “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”

But He does. Isn’t that mind-blowing? The notion that the Creator of this vast universe cares about you and me, and loves you and me, sounds ridiculous. It sounds foolish. But as we see in 1 Corinthians 1, God has a funny habit of doing things that sound foolish to us. And God has a funny habit of choosing weak and lowly people like you and me to carry out His purposes. Sounds unbelievable. But it’s true.

If you spend some time with nonChristians, you’ll be reminded that the message of the cross sounds really crazy to unbelievers. As Paul summarized his own culture in 1 Corinthians 22:23, “Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.”

You see, in Paul’s day the Jews were really big on miracles. During Jesus’ ministry, the Jewish crowds and their rabbis kept asking Jesus to show them a miraculous sign to prove he was the Messiah – even after he performed numerous healings. So, the cross of Jesus Christ was a stumbling block to Jews, because in their minds, his crucifixion was anything but a miracle. In their minds it was the exact opposite. Now, they might have seen it as a miracle if Jesus had survived the crucifixion. If he had stepped down from the cross and walked away with nails still sticking out of his wrists and a spear still dangling from his side, THAT, in their minds, would be a miracle worthy of standing up and taking notice. So, the message of the cross sounded foolish to Jews who rejected Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Meanwhile, the Greeks and Romans of Paul’s day took pride in their ability to understand the complexities of life through science and philosophy. They prided themselves on their ability to save themselves and humanity through intellectual reasoning. But the message of the cross sounded to them like utter foolishness. Think about it: receiving LIFE from one who received DEATH. Being BLESSED by one who was made a CURSE. Being CLEANSED by one who was made DIRTY. It sounded so foolish then. And to many it still sounds so foolish today.

Therefore, Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those of us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Believers and followers of Jesus Christ can see what unbelievers can’t see. We can understand what unbelievers can’t understand. We can see and understand that the message of the cross isn’t foolish. Quite the opposite: It’s brilliant. No matter how intelligent the Greek philosophers seemed to be, they still didn’t know God. And no matter how eloquent the Greek thinkers were, they couldn’t talk themselves out of a single sin. Regardless of how many universities they attended or how high their IQs soared, they were powerless to transform hard hearts or turn sinners into saints.

Let’s face it. In the eyes of many people, we as Christians are complete morons for believing in Jesus Christ crucified and risen again. And that’s okay with God. As Paul wrote, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him” (vs. 27-29).

Chances are, when God found you, you weren’t an intellectual giant or an influential billionaire. If you know in your heart of hearts that God saved you, erase in your mind any notion that He saved you because He was impressed by you. He wasn’t impressed by your towering intellect. He wasn’t impressed by your amazing talent. And He certainly wasn’t impressed by your rugged good looks. I’m sure many, many angels are better looking than you. God offered to save you … not because of you, but in spite of you. You and I were foolish. We were weak. We were lowly, and we were despised. But in His wisdom and power and grace, Jesus Christ saved us despite ourselves.

If we follow Jesus Christ, he will use those of us the world calls “fools” to put the world’s wisdom to shame. And as the secular world around us calls us intellectually and emotionally weak, God will use us as examples of strength and courage in the midst of life’s battles. And as the secular world around us calls us lowly and despised, God will lift us up as His greatest treasure.

Let me ask you: Are you one of the foolish things of the world that God chose? I hope so!

Dane Davis is the Pastor of First Christian Church in Victorville. For more information, visit  and join us for worship Sundays at 10 a.m.

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