It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.
But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:22-25)
Many Jews considered the Good News of Jesus Christ to be foolish, because they thought the Messiah would be a conquering king accompanied by signs and miracles. Jesus had not restored David’s throne as they expected. Besides, he was executed as a criminal, and how could a criminal be a savior? Greeks, too, considered the gospel foolish: They did not believe in a bodily resurrection; they did not see in Jesus the powerful characteristics of their mythological gods; and they thought no reputable person would be crucified. To them, death was defeat, not victory.
The Good News of Jesus Christ still sounds foolish to many. Our society worships power, influence, and wealth. Jesus came as a humble, poor servant, and he offers his Kingdom to those who have faith, not to those who do all kinds of good deeds to try to earn his gifts. This looks foolish to the world, but Christ is our power, the only way we can be saved.
Jesus’ resurrection demonstrated his power even over death. And he will save us from eternal death and give us everlasting life if we trust him as Savior and Lord. This sounds so simple that many people won’t accept it. They try other ways to obtain eternal life (being good, being wise, etc.). But all their attempts will not work. The “foolish” people who simply accept Christ’s offer are actually the wisest of all, because they alone will live eternally with God.
Is Christianity against rational thinking? Knowing Christ personally is the greatest wisdom anyone could have. Christians clearly do believe in using their minds to weigh the evidence and make wise choices. In this passage Paul is declaring that no amount of human knowledge can replace or bypass Jesus’ work on the cross. Yet he provides us with the tools to give a well-reasoned argument concerning Christianity. How has knowing Jesus expanded your capacity to argue persuasively about the gospel?