18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’ 20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
Notes on 1 Corinthians 1:18-25:
For some, now and across the ages, power is the only arbiter of truth. Those who win by force get to write the history and to declare the ‘rightness’ of their cause. For others only those things which are rational and logical (according to the constraints of their own knowledge and imagination) make sense and are to be accepted as a basis for proper living. The cross of Jesus cuts across both of these approaches to life. It appears as failure. It seems to be weakness. It is the antithesis of victory. Who in their right mind could call this a triumph?? And yet it is. It is foolish and yet it touches our hearts in a place deeper than any force could reach and transforms us from within in ways which defy coercion. Its illogicality is a challenge to the arrogance of limited thinking. We are challenged to look at life from an entirely different perspective. God’s perspective, which is beyond us and of which we catch glimpses in the events at the heart of who we are as we gather in Christian community.