Where Is the Wise Man?
1 Corinthians 1:20-25
Last weekend Michelle and I took a very quick trip up to Redding, California. We drove over 8 hours each way to visit Bethel Church and were truly blessed there, that will be for a future blog. But God didn’t stop there; He also blessed us by a couple we met. Amore and Terry had also driven to Redding to visit this church, but they live a little closer to it, in Fulsome. Michelle and I arrived at the church early Saturday morning. It was cold and raining, but we made our way into the building and were sitting in the foyer when this couple came in. We immediately hit it off and in minutes were in deep conversation about the love of God and what He has done in our lives. It was amazing how, even though we were so different in some ways, our lives paralleled each other in a multitude of other ways. God truly brought us together with this couple.
After we were finished with that amazing service, again, for another time, Amore asked if we would like to go to lunch with them. It didn’t matter that we had just met them, or that we had another 8+ hour drive ahead of us, we quickly agreed as we didn’t want this time of fellowship to end. So, the four of us went to a small restaurant just a few miles from the church and sat for 3 hours talking, sharing stories, and praising God. Amore had us on the edge of our seats talking about the things God has done for them in their lives. But here’s the thing, like us they are not wealthy, but they are blessed. They don’t have a lot of physical possessions, but they have a close relationship with God. Also, like us, they have never been to seminary or Bible college, and yet we were amazed at the wisdom that poured out this man. Amore didn’t go to Bible college; he went straight to God. You see, it isn’t about the world’s wisdom, or the college you went to, or what you have learned from men about the Bible, it’s about God’s wisdom and what He reveals to you from His word and your daily fellowship with Him. I remember one time while watching the TV program, Restaurant Impossible; I heard the host, Robert Irvine, talk about how he never went to culinary school, he just learned under some great chefs. That’s what I’m talking about. It’s not about the school you learned from; it’s about how much time you spent at the feet of the Master. It’s like something they said at Bethel, “It’s not about the anointed man of God, it’s about the anointed God of man.”
Today I would like to look at 1 Corinthians 1:20-25 where it says, “20 Where is the wise man? 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 through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
The first thing Paul does here is he asks some questions. He asks where the wise men, scribes, and great debaters are. Next, he says, “Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” That’s how it is. We think we are so wise with our big words and fancy educations, but it’s all foolishness to God. We try to impress people with all of our knowledge, but it doesn’t mean anything to God.
He goes on to say how, through the world’s wisdom, it didn’t come to know Him. That is so true! The world’s wisdom tries to explain away God. The world’s wisdom has come up with nonsense like evolution, and even though it is nothing more than a theory, they teach it in our schools as if it is a fact and mock you if you believe otherwise. My degree is in biology, so when someone tries to tell me that they believe evolution because it is scientific, I love to ask them to quote the laws that govern science. The first rule is that, if something is to be considered scientific, it must be observable and repeatable. So, by the rules of science, evolution is not scientific at all, it is nothing more than a faith based belief system.
Paul goes on to say that, because the world doesn’t find God through their wisdom, He is pleased, it actually says He is “well-pleased,” to save us through the foolishness of preaching. He says that when we preach Christ crucified, it is a stumbling block to the Jews because they don’t believe that He is the Messiah, and it is foolishness to the Greeks because they seek worldly wisdom. Let’s face it, there is nothing scientific about faith, but that’s the point, isn’t it?
And, here’s where it gets really beautiful, it says that for those of us who are the called of God, no matter what our background is, Christ is the Power of God and the Wisdom of God! Wow, that is so true! If we have Christ, we have the Power of God, and we have the Wisdom of Christ. What more do we need? We don’t need human power or human wisdom; we simply need Christ!
I love how Paul wraps up this part of his letter. He says in verse 25, “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” You see, God’s foolishness is wiser than the wisest man, and His strength is stronger than the strongest man.
So, when you start thinking of yourself a little higher than you should, picture yourself up against Christ, then step back and take a look at yourself. If that doesn’t make you feel tiny, nothing will.