Thought for February 20th 'Where is the one who is wise '
"WHERE IS THE ONE WHO IS WISE?" Feb 20
Today we began reading Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. Corinth was a centre of Greek learning and Greek wisdom. Winning converts was a challenge - a quite different kind of challenge to winning converts among the Jews. Today’s world with its atheism and humanism is yet another kind of challenge – yet there are parallels – and what Paul wrote applies just as much. “The word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” [1 v.18] – this applies in every situation. The meaning of the cross, once grasped, creates the power of thought to change lives!
The sacrifice of Christ is senseless in the minds of those who are not seeking real spirituality in their outlook on life. In. v.19 Paul quotes God’s words through Isaiah (in 29 v.14) “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Human wisdom has been thwarted by God, in every age and every culture, the 21st Century is not going to be any different..
Paul asks, “Where is the one who is wise?” and then makes the point, “Since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through (its’) 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 …” And what a vital ‘but’ that little word is! “but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” [v.24]
What wisdom we can read in Matthew’s gospel of the teaching of Christ – what a challenge to practice what he taught, as recorded in chapters 5 to 7 – generally called ‘The Sermon on the Mount.’ No human author could have invented Christ as a fictional character and put such teaching in his mouth. Those who are “called” show their ‘calling’ by whole heartedly responding to such teaching.
Paul tells the Corinthians “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” [2 v.2] He then makes the point, “among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age … but we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” [v.6-8] The Old Testament is the repository of such wisdom..
Let us search out – more and more - the “wisdom of God” and develop more and more a genuine love for God, Paul says, “it is written, ‘… no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’ “ [v.9] True wisdom is the outcome of a genuine love for God; may we be filled with wisdom – and daily feed on “the wisdom of God.”