Summary: “foolishness of preaching” does not mean foolish preaching, the meaning here is, --to the minds of the so called intelligent thinkers, it was “foolishness” God is not calling it foolishness, He is pointing out that these great thinkers said it was foolish
THE PREACHING OF THE CROSS 1 Corinthians 1:18-24 4-11-09
Today I want to talk for a little while about “the preaching of the cross”, about the crucifixion of Jesus there on the cross of Calvary, so I want you to pay close attention.
Listen as I read today’s text found in 1st cor. 1:18-24
18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
Let me say before I read on, that these words “foolishness of preaching” does not mean foolish preaching, the meaning here is, --to the minds of the so called intelligent thinkers, it was “foolishness” God is not calling it foolishness, He is pointing out that these great thinkers said it was foolishness, and with that understanding Paul says, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
The Jewish standard of what was wise was to be able to see signs. The Jews were always asking Him for a sign.
Matthew 12: 38-39 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 39But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign;
John 2: 18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
John 6: 30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?
Even when He performed signs, He never performed them at their request, and let me say that when He did perform signs it didn’t satisfy them –
The Jews way of thinking was, “if He’s really Messiah, He would never deny the Jewish people a sign to show that He is who He says He is”’, so they rejected Him, and it was because of their own worldly wisdom. So He became a stumbling block to them.
23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
What was the wisdom the Greeks sought after? What was their foundation of human understanding? Well, it was the pagan philosophers, the poets. They thought it was ridicules to think of a suffering God.
How could God suffer? They theorized that’s It’s just not rational! They wanted a gospel that was based upon their own human understanding.
But the gospel that Paul is preaching, the gospel that is in the word of God, was not meant to be according to mans understanding, God can not be put in a test tube and analyzed, we receive what comes from God by faith, not if we’re able to completely understand it.
I’m glad that our Great God is far above puny little mans understanding, what kind of God would we have if we knew every thing He did?