Sunday, April 9, 2017

IsJesus a moron?

The season of the Chocolate Bunny draws near. It is on a takeover endeavour to supplant the Christian celebration we call Easter, in reality ‘The Passover.’ Strange how the human heart thinks it is wise and yet promotes a rabbit to satisfy the heart. But the story of Passover/Easter confronts the rabbit with a story that challenges and arouses either animosity or devotion.

‘The logos of the cross is foolishness to…’ is Marshall’s translation of 1 Corinthians 1:18. Logos is the Greek for ‘word’ and Paul uses it in a two edged way. For logos is a term to describe Jesus in John 1:1. The word for foolishness stems from the Greek meaning ‘moron.’

When you link those two words together you could quite rightly say that some people see Jesus as a moron. That is, He is a fool for going to the cross. The piece of wood which lifted Him up and took His life is the reason for many a person’s estimation of Him. It is easy to admire Jesus for His teaching. There would be agreement as to His worthy actions in healing and feeding people, but the cross! Now that is an entirely different matter.

As you read further into the Corinthian chapter you get an understanding for their reasoning. To the non-Jewish mind, influenced by Greek philosophy, the highest ideal was to obtain wisdom. We still celebrate such men as Socrates, Seneca and Epicetus today. I find it interesting that in the Roman world influenced by Greek philosophy they pursued the mental and debased the moral. Their treatment of slaves, the poor and their acceptance of sexual relationships outside of marriage reveal the limits of wisdom. This is also seen in their views of the gods on Mount Olympus. Romans 1:18-32 is an interesting insight into a Jewish Christian’s view of their society.

Why do people still consider Jesus a moron for being crucified? Why is the preaching and sharing of the story of the cross so offensive? Why does it stir up so much hostility? Is it due to the fact that it offends our view of our own personal worth and right to heaven? Especially when those who are low on the social order are treated the same as those from the more noble, the more sophisticated, the more successful!

Perhaps, just perhaps, this reveals the wisdom of God. How?

God in His wisdom by-passed Humanity’s wisdom as the means of securing salvation. Imagine the philosophical arguments as to which philosophy was the most important and worthy of being the ‘gate’ to glory. How few of us would have passed the entrance exam, especially as any philosophy is subject to change, alteration and challenge. If it was by human wisdom people entered heaven, think about how loud the founders would boast before God. Such thing cannot and will not happen. When those who believe in and accept the foolishness of the cross enter His presence it will be with the gratitude of worship and praise. They know their unworthiness and the Lord Jesus’ amazing grace.

The Logos of the cross requires faith, not wisdom. Why? Because faith is possible for the wisest to the most ignorant person to exercise. Faith stems from hearing the message, assessing its truth, realising personal need for forgiveness and mercy, accepting Christ’s offer of grace and surrendering to His Lordship. Then, a most amazing reality takes hold. Christ Jesus takes you out of sin’s dominance into righteousness. The believer is removed from the kingdom of Darkness and brought into the Kingdom of Light! The person is no longer a slum of self-righteousness or depravity but the temple of the risen Lord. No amount of human wisdom can ever achieve such a transformation!

How glad I am for the Logos of the cross and our Heavenly Father’s foolishness! Are you?

Next week: The Weakness of God.

©Ray Hawkins April 9th 2017.

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