For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)
The Foolish Things Of The World
When the gospel of Christ was preached to the world for the first time, many were puzzled why a faith would be built upon the life of a relatively unknown carpenter’s son who had little education in the schools of men and was executed by the Romans as a criminal. This man Jesus was of no importance to the known world and although he had made an impression for a few years with a group of followers in Palestine, his story was of no great impact in the vaunted halls of the political, educational and religious world of the Roman Empire.
Soon after the death of Jesus, a band of disciples began to preach that same Jesus had in fact been crucified and buried with the authority of the Roman army but that He had been seen alive by many followers for over a month. A growing number of people numbering as high as five thousand began to follow the teaching of the man from Nazareth. It was a very simple message. Men of letters examined the doctrines of Jesus Christ and were puzzled why anyone would follow a man who was crucified as a common criminal. The story of the cross of Jesus was central to the teaching of this new movement to the dismay of many intellectuals.
It came as a tremendous shock and a blow to the political movements of the Jewish hierarchy when one of their own, a Pharisee and teacher of the law, also came under the sway of the teachings of Jesus. Saul of Tarsus was a powerful force within the Jewish leadership and had made his life goal to destroy the teachings of Jesus and all those who followed him. On a trip to arrest a number of disciples of Jesus, Saul had become one of the followers of the one he had opposed with such great zeal. Now Saul had become one of the leaders of the band who would be called Christians.
The story of the risen Christ is foolishness to a world thriving on the wisdom of human knowledge. Preaching a crucified Jesus does not make sense. Following a life of abstinence to the carnal pleasures of the world would go against all wisdom of society. Everything about the message of the cross was foolish and yet that is where the wisdom of God is exalted. Human wisdom exalts the mind of a man but the teachings of Jesus Christ demote the wisdom of men to folly and raise the knowledge of God above a man who seeks to make himself a god.
Accepting the idea that in the beginning, God created the heavens and earth is not explained in terms of human scientific studies. Believing the world could be covered by an enormous flood goes beyond the rational thinking of men. Hearing about a man from Nazareth walking on water, healing all manner of disease and raising the dead is a fairy tale to the wisdom of men. Preaching salvation based on a man crucified is nonsense to a world where man is his own god. What becomes foolishness to man is where the wisdom of God shines through.
The best the wisdom of man can do is to show his folly. He builds large monuments that exalt his wisdom but in time they fall to decay and ruin. His glory is short-lived. The message of God shows the eternal wisdom of the Creator that never ends. When God put the Sun 93 million miles away from the earth He designed it to remain that distance and thank God it does. His wisdom endures. The Bible may seem foolish to most people but it has remained unchanged and unchallenged for centuries because it is the wisdom of God. The pyramids of Egypt exalt the glory of human toil. Preaching Christ crucified gives glory to God. Which one lays in ruin today and which one remains as vibrant as the day it was inscribed?