November 26, 2023 | Duane Roberts
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“Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”—1 Corinthians 1:22–25 (NIV)
Have you ever pondered how unconventional the strength and salvation of Christ is? Think about it. God became a human. He was born to a virgin in a feeding trough surrounded by animals. His family wasn’t wealthy and He grew up in Galilee, a city known to be unsophisticated and diverse in culture. His father was a carpenter, so He took up that trade as well. In the world’s eyes, there didn’t seem to be anything special about Him.
The Jews didn’t expect their Messiah to come and die on a cross. They expected the Messiah to come conquer the Romans in the same way previous judges had done for them long ago. They expected God to intervene in the sense of physically destroying their enemies and bringing them to victory and freedom physically and politically rather than spiritually and eternally. For this reason, a lot of them were confused by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Even the Greeks, and everyone else in this time period, were confused by the actions of Christ. In their own culture, they viewed saviors and conquerors to be strong military men who could defeat entire armies on their own. Every heroic character in Greek mythology took on this stereotype.
Jesus didn’t fit any of these molds. This is why Paul wrote in our Scripture for today, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” Paul isn’t stating that God is weak or foolish here; rather, he’s explaining that what the world may view as weak or foolish on God’s part is actually great wisdom and strength. God sent Jesus to be an unexpected hero that defied all cultural norms because His entire plan is counter-cultural.
Jesus, having the divinity of God and being all-powerful, yet still willing to sacrifice Himself to save us is counter-cultural.
Our decision to surrender our lives to this Savior is counter-cultural.
Choosing to live a life dedicated to loving, obeying, and worshiping our Lord is counter-cultural.
Christ’s gracious gift of salvation and reconciliation extending to all people, regardless of backgrounds, mistakes, or struggles, is counter-cultural.
Living for the kingdom of God, both here on Earth and one day in eternity, where every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, is counter-cultural.
Are you willing to embrace this Savior and all that He bought for us on that cross? The life He bought for us may be counter-cultural, but it’s eternal, true, fulfilling, and most definitely worth it.
Pause: Have you ever discounted Christ or His message as true or meaningful because of how ridiculous it sounds? Perhaps not, but maybe you’ve felt embarrassed or shy when sharing it with other people because you’re afraid they’ll think it’s foolish. Ponder a moment where you might have felt this way.
Practice: Whether you were able to think of a moment you felt this way or not, today be intentional about being bold and courageous in living for Christ. Share the good news with someone you meet. Ask to pray for someone even if you’re afraid of what they might think. Tell someone a Scripture you think will encourage them. Be counter-cultural with the way you love today.
Pray: Father God, thank You for Your sacrifice! Thank You for the plan You set in motion from the beginning to redeem and rescue us through Christ in the most unconventional way yet the most perfect way. Thank You that salvation and living for You brings about a counter-cultural lifestyle that is so much better than what the world advertises. I pray You would increase my boldness and deepen my faith as I seek to follow You in a world that doesn’t understand or worship you. Amen.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.