Today we start reading Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. The believers there had been converted from the foolish philosophies of the Greeks who believed in a spirit afterlife and in many gods of their imagination. Paul says, “The Jews demand signs and the Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles”. We can understand their reaction to a message built around a man who was crucified! But that was the essence of the picture!
What a wonderful meaning to life sprang from the terrible events at Calvary. Paul continues, “but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1:22-25).
Paul asks them to “consider your calling, brothers; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (verses 28,29). The scribes and the Pharisees were brought to nothing!
The worldly wise indulge in another kind of boasting today – in their wisdom they have come to the knowledge that there is no God! In contrast, our wisdom is to recognise what turned the thinking of the world of the First Century upside down. As to the meaning of life, “It was not a wisdom of this age” (2:6) says Paul, then stresses that, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God, that we might understand the things freely given to us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom, but taught by the Spirit …” (verses 12,13).
God’s Spirit caused Paul and the other apostles to write things down so that we can feed our minds on this spirit-inspired word. Remember Jesus told his disciples, “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (John 6:63). Let us make sure our minds carefully and prayerfully feed on God-given food every day.