What is the first thing to run through your mind when you read the word foolishness.....or think of someone doing something foolish..... or maybe acting like a fool?
I did a Google thing on these words and it was kind of scary. I sure wouldn't want to be a fool, be called a foolish person or have things that are important to me be considered foolishness. Definitions of those words run the gamut of negativity.... lacking good sense, very poor judgment, stupidity... (that's a good one!).... how about absurd, do you like ridiculous or ludicrous better? ... or maybe just plain silly works best for you.
Back when Paul the apostle was writing some things, mostly to the folks in Corinth, he used those words to describe how most of the world looked at the Gospel.... the proclamations of how believing in Jesus death on the cross would somehow enable people to have a deep, intimate, personal relationship with the living God who created all things...... you guessed it... Silly... absurd... ludicrous... ridiculous..... laughable.... total stupidity......foolishness!
This is how Paul used that word foolishness when he did his writing thing back then:
"we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness"
"the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God."
"it was God’s good pleasure through the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."
"Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged."
It has always puzzled me that so many Christians run around expecting the world to somehow just realize that this preaching of the cross is not foolishness.... somehow, magically, all we need to do is rationally explain this to people and they will intellectually agree with our marvelous explanations..... all just because we say so and have also said (not so nicely) how they are going straight to hell if they do not agree with us. Somehow (after our foolishness) we actually expect them to believe that what we have explained is not foolish but really the opposite.....it is the wisdom of God. Sorry....doesn't work that way.
It is the wisdom of God to those of us who do believe.... and remember.... the only reason we believe is because God in His great mercy chose to reveal Himself to us in His fullness of time for us....... It is still foolish and silly to others until He reveals it to others!
It took me till I was almost 33 years old to get that revelation...... I remember laughing at Billy Graham Crusades on TV wondering how people could be hoodwinked by all that silly stuff about Jesus. I had already long since turned my back on the Catholic's version that I was raised in..... stupid stuff.... all it does is make feel guilty about being a human being... sure doesn't work for me....I'm outta here..,. that Jesus thing is ludicrous. Of course, I know you never did anything like that.... so, I guess you'll just have to take my word for it! :)
I got really ugly a couple times when local Churches would come to visit my house, give me some tract and tell me how I needed to give my heart to Jesus..... I mean I was really nasty to them because it always seemed they would arrive on a Sunday afternoon after I had partied till the wee small hours of the morning and fighting to survive one serious hangover..
Let me say this very clearly that the proclamation of a restored relationship to God through the death of His Son Jesus is totally and absolutely true. But...ll I have to do is proclaim it as truth...... What folks do with that is up to them. .... I always suggest they ask Him about it....'cause the only way they will ever see it as Wisdom and not Foolishness is when He shows it to them. Guess what? If it is His time for them, He will show it to them and there will be yet one more proclaimer out there!
They will also see that the world's wisdom is what actually is foolishness!
"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God."
Soon I will write about the incredible movement of the Holy Spirit in the late 60's and early 70's that swept thousands of young people into God's Kingdom. It was called the Jesus People Movement. I woke up this morning with a song from 1970 by a young man in a Rock Band that met the Lord during that. I'm not absolutely certain after all these years but I believe the guy who wrote that was Barry Gretz from New Jersey.....just in case he reads this....if it wasn't him, maybe he would let me know who did write it. It never did make it big in the Christian music scene...but locally it was played a lot. It was titled "I'm a fool for Jesus"....the lyrics went..... "I'm a fool for Jesus....whose fool are you...?
I was a fool for all kinds of things.....alcohol..... Camel cigarettes (not that funky filter stuff either) ...sex. ... arrogance....using others for whatever I wanted.... lots of nice stuff like that.
Now I'm a fool for something... someone else.... I'm a fool for Jesus. Whose fool are you?
Something to think about.