God's Worst for Our Best

Jerry Sittser

READ : 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength. (v. 25)

The belief system of Christianity came under scrutiny very soon after the church was born. By the late second century some of the most prominent intellectuals in the Roman world, like the philosopher Celsus, knew about Christianity. Celsus discovered that Christians, though strictly monotheistic, worshiped the man Jesus as if he were God. It made no sense. How could these Christians worship someone who was so unworthy, a man with no credentials, a man who had died on a cross? As Celsus charged, “But in fact [Christians] worship to an extravagant degree this man who appeared recently, and yet think it does not offend God if they also worship his servant.”

But Paul interpreted the facts differently. Sinful humans always exalt their own wisdom and strength, which only leads to their destruction. But God chose to save us through the foolishness and weakness of the cross. There Jesus hung, a laughingstock to the world, an abject failure. There God was working, reconciling a sinful world to himself. What appeared to be God at his worst ended up winning for us what is best.


O Lord, your foolishness is wisdom, your weakness is strength. Thank you for the cross. In Jesus’ name, Amen.