Being Weak 1 Cor. 1:18-30

In our culture of super heroes and wise folk, we hate to be seen as weak or foolish. It frustrates us when we are not the strongest of the group or the wisest. 2000 years later, it is not any different than when Paul wrote to the people of Corinth and gave them an earful on just this topic. The people of Corinth were hellenistic people who relished knowledge and wisdom, but who ironically (at least the members of the church) originally were not the brightest bulbs on the porch. In 1 Cor. 1:26, Paul says that not many of them were “wise according to worldy standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.” When they received the wisdom from the Holy Spirit, they began to think that they were better than everyone else. (As we will see in 1 Cor. 2) They finally had something to brag about and brag they did.

Paul mentions that “God chose what is foolish in this 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” (1 Cor. 1:27-29). So does this mean that we should not strive for strength or wisdom? Of course not! It does mean, however, that we have to strive for the right kind of wisdom.

Let’s think about this for a second . . . God became a human in the form of Christ and although he was able to perform miracles and had access to his Godly powers, he chose to leave them. He was punched, beaten, stabbed, whipped, and nailed to a cross with a broken and battered body. He was weak by choice because he knew he had to suffer in our place and with out dying, he could not be raised. BUT, God raised him from the dead with power and he now sits at the right hand of God the Father. Paul even calls this logic foolishness for those who do not understand it. Of course it’s foolish! It goes against everything we are conditioned to know in this world.

Imagine, though, that we seek our wisdom and strength from God and in turn get the only real lasting wisdom and strength that exists. In our lives we are sometimes literally beaten down and battered and other times we just feel like it. Sometimes we are not the smartest person on the block, and other times we are just having a dull moment. We can even embrace these moments! I am not saying that we should try to suffer or make ourselves weak in all situations, but when we are there anyway, let’s be glad that we have a God who chose to do this with us who has prepared a place for us where weakness, suffering, and foolishness will exist no more.

If this is you today who is feeling that the world has beaten you down and taken away any piece of wisdom that you may have once had, just remember that these things cannot last anyway. Let’s not be like some of the people at Corinth who thought the idea of a suffering savior was so foolish that they even swept the crucifixion under the rug! Instead, let’s remember that if God himself chose to suffer (and did so out of true strength and wisdom), and because we certainly are not above God, then let us not focus on our own strength and wisdom and ask God for some of his.

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