THE FOOLISHNESS OF THE CROSS

Scripture Reading:  Acts 17:32-34

“Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked.  But others said, ‘We will hear you again about this.'” (Acts 17:32)

Paul concluded his address to the Athenian philosophers with a reference to the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead:  “Because He has fixed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a Man whom He has appointed; and of this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead” (v. 31).  Paul’s teaching about God’s judgment did not seem to bother these pagan philosophers, but his reference to Jesus’ resurrection did.

Perhaps this is the reason Paul wrote these words to the Corinthians:  “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.  For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 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” (I Corinthians 1:21-25).  

To these pagan wise men, the resurrection of Christ was foolishness.  They could not comprehend that Christ who was crucified would be raised from the dead, and through His sacrificial work, God made salvation possible.  These worldly scholars mocked Paul.  This idea was folly to them.

Yet some believed:  “But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them” (v. 34).  The power of God was at work among those who responded to the gospel.  What seemed foolish to many was the very thing that brought salvation to some.

Lord Jesus, I know that the gospel is the power of God for salvation.  You are the power and wisdom of God.  I praise You and rejoice that the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men!

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