1 Corinthians 1:18–25 (NKJV)
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,1 Corinthians 1:18-19
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
Paul just finished up a discussion of sectarianism, pointing out the destructive nature of division and politics in the church. He pointed out that he only came to preach the gospel, not to draw fans to his ministry. His preaching was without great words, but rather simply to proclaim Jesus Christ and His cross. Here he goes on to announce that some do not accept the gospel because they choose rather to perish. Those, though, who look for deliverance see the gospel as the power of God. Perspective makes a world of difference. Those who see their need see Christ as their Savior. Those who deny their need see Him as a nuisance, another ruler, taking away their autonomy. This is folly and arrogance, and it leads to destruction.
20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.1 Corinthians 1:20-25
Paul then calls out the very groups who see Jesus in a negative light, the Jews and the Greeks. To them, Jesus’ message of hope is not philosophical enough, or traditional enough. To the Greeks, Jesus lacks sophistication and rhetoric. To the Jews, He does not fill their image of the Messiah. They look for a sign, while the Greeks seek for wisdom. Yet the simple message of Christ–a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks–saves those who believe and forgives their sin and heals their families. In short, the gospel, foolish and weak to certain people, is wiser and stronger than any path cut by men. Jesus’ simplicity trumps philosophical wisdom every day. Jesus’ weak message fulfills the longing of sinful and lost people everywhere. Believe in Christ, regardless of what the gurus of today’s society spout, for His message is life and hope and salvation. Believe Him today!
Artwork from https://biblia.com/bible/hcsb/1-corinthians/1/18-31