NO ONE LIKES TO feel like a fool. We want to be sure of ourselves, have all the answers. We resist being placed in a position where we can’t respond with confidence to any and all opposition. Then, if the unthinkable happens, we work hard to defend our position using all the worldly wisdom available to us.
The Apostle Paul risked looking like a fool but spoke up anyway because of his faith in God’s wisdom rather than his own. During his lifetime, Paul wrote letters to several new churches, and these are saved for us as books in the New Testament of the Bible. 1 Corinthians is one of these letters, written to the early Christians in the city of Corinth who were struggling to understand how to live godly lives. They were in the midst of a busy cosmopolitan society where people from all over the known world gathered.
Aware of the setting and the temptations that abounded—and caring deeply about the new Christians of the city—Paul wrote to them and admitted the seeming foolishness of the message he preached. How and why would people choose to live morally when they were surrounded by opportunities to do whatever they pleased?
But Paul knew that God’s wisdom and worldly wisdom are profoundly different and must not be confused.
On Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus after he died on the cross. This is God’s power and wisdom at work. It makes no sense to anyone who doesn’t believe in the power of God. Did Jesus actually rise from the dead? Should we trust a message that seems so crazy, so unbelievable? And in believing, can we see the world through new eyes and choose to live differently?
It can be helpful to recognize that our own perceptions of the world aren’t perfect. We trust so fully in what we see, hear, touch. Yet the way our brains work is trickier and less straightforward than we want to believe. A good book to check out is The Invisible Gorilla, which easily pokes holes in our confidence about worldly wisdom.
Taking another approach, several modern atheists each sought to disprove the resurrection but instead became followers of Jesus because of the evidence. They’ve written their stories so consider checking out what they have to say: Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, and J. Warner Wallace.
The cross—the resurrection of Jesus—is the power of God. The cross is the wisdom of God. The cross is foolishness to the world.
- Listen to the message by Pastor Mike Easter entitled Foolishness of the Cross.
- Read the experiences of one of the investigative reporters noted above and read 1 Corinthians.
- Join us on Sunday at 9 or 10:45 a.m. to hear more about the early Christians of Corinth.