Summary: Also 1cor 10:14-22. How Paul’s discussion of not eating meat sacrificed to idols is very relevant for us today
Intro Story – The Chauffeur
A very well respected Nobel prize-winning physicist was asked to travel the country and lecture on some of his current theories. His sponsors provided a limousine and a chauffeur. Night after night, city after city the physicist gave the exact same lecture.
After all the miles on the road the physicist and the chauffeur became good friends.One night while driving to the next town the chauffeur says, "You know doc, I’m getting tired of hearing the same speech night after night.” The physicist says, “you know, I’m getting tired of giving the same speech night after night.”
The chauffeur exclaims I’ve heard your speech so many times I bet I could give the speech and no one would know the difference. I bet your right. The physicist thinks for awhile and says, I tell you what, to make tomorrow night interesting, I’m going to let you do the speech; I’ll do the driving – you wear the tux and I’ll wear your chauffeur’s outfit.
According to plan the next night the chauffeur wears the tuxedo and the physicist drive the limo. The chauffeur gave the speech and the physicist sits in the back.
The chauffeur delivered the speech so well, that he finished a few minutes early. As he goes to his seat at the head table the emcee stands up and says, "Since we have a few minutes left, I’m going to open the floor for any questions for our venerable guest."
The first person stands up and asks a very intricate and complicated question concerning a principle in physics. The physicist who is still sitting in the back – panics. He could easily answer the question but there is no way in the world the chauffeur could.He knows they are sunk.
The chauffeur, as calm as could be smiles and replies. The question you pose sir is quite easy and elementary – in fact it is so easy that anyone should be able to answer it. And to prove my point I am going to let my chauffeur come up to the microphone and do just that.
Some questions are easy to answer, and some are difficult.
Some questions are annoying, others irritating.
Some questions are important to living the Christian life
Some questions are very, important to living the Christian life,
but at first glance appear irrelevant
Like the one we have posed to us this morning in our Scriptures
Is it ok to eat meat sacrificed to idols. I haven’t checked with the butcher at Costco this week, but I think it is pretty safe to say – they do not carry a line of sacrificial meat.
If you’re like me, you probably tend to gloss over sections like what we have read today. In your bible reading as they appear irrelevant and outdated, but again I need to say – the bible is a very practical book and yes this is very applicable for us this morning. Scripture is designed to work for real life. So let’s take a look.
First we need to remember that the Corinthians wrote to Paul asking a series of questions, and he is answering some of their questions at this point. We do not have the letter, nor do we know the contents of the letter, but we can ascertain some of the letter by the answers that Paul is giving. So here in chapter 8 he is answering a very practical question for the Corinthians. Can we eat meat sacrificed to idols? His answer deals specifically with this, but his answer isn’t only about eating or not eating meat, he is answering a deeper question behind the question of eating meat. It has more to do with our self awareness as Christians. We see, we feel, we touch, we analyze and we do understand spiritual principles…to a degree. See today Paul is telling the Corinthians – you think you know, ut you only know part and are not fully aware awareness of the spiritual nature of things.
If you have you Bibles open to 1 cor 8, glance at the first verse with me,
1Cor. 8:1 Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.
What is Paul saying here? In the original Greek he says meat offered to idols. He starts off by addressing an issue about eating food sacrificed to idols, but then talks about knowledge and love. Is there some disconnect? Actually no. The Corinthians think the real issue is can they eat meat sacrificed to idols, but that is not the real issue. So Paul moves past their issue and moves to the real issue – quickly: Eating meat sacrificed to idols is a symptom. As a fever is a symptom – when the real problem is an infection.