1 Cor 1:18 – 31
God tips wisdom on its head! That’s the stark reality of the Cross of Jesus the King. For some the disaster of the crucifixion of Jesus is not simply incomprehensible, it is utterly foolish while for those who are being saved, it is life saving wisdom for it displays the power of God. There is no doubt that the Cross was, in its day, a sign of weakness and defeat, of humiliation and utter capitulation. For sophisticated and highly intelligent citizens of Corinth, such a picture of defeat was completely disconnected from their understanding of wisdom; it was utter foolishness. We see this particularly in the comment by Paul that the image of the crucified Christ was both a stumbling block to the Jewish people and foolishness to Greek people (vs 23). Take some time to re-read vs 26-31. This message of Paul about the way God works is simple in its construction and powerful in its impact. Don’t get me wrong – its simple, not simplistic. The gospel, that is the proclamation of what God has done in his rescue plan for the world, is simple in its construct because God has done it all. It seems simplistic because humanity as a whole, wants, no, needs complex answers because them it ‘feels’ like we have earned it or obtained it for ourselves. But its simple because God has looked after the complexity. Years ago as a youth evangelist, I was asked to speak at a gathering of young people at the Melbourne Town Hall. On the night over 1000 teenagers and young adults filled the main seating area and the balcony. The message I proclaimed was indeed ‘simple’ – I told people about Jesus, about what he did on the Cross, about what God had done in his resurrection and invited people to respond. There was quiet stillness across the Hall and then people started moving. The Spirit of God moved in the hearts of those present and hundreds came forward that night, some in first time surrender to Jesus and others prompted by the Spirit to surrender their lives afresh to King Jesus. As I met with the organisers later that evening for coffee and prayer, the comment was made to me “I cant believe it, and don’t get me wrong cause you spoke well, but it was such a simple message and yet people responded” Clearly I have never forgotten that experience; it was all about what Jesus did and what the Spirit was now doing in the lives of those listening. Keep it simple; first Jesus and what he has done and then Jesus and what he did. It’s the power of salvation.