1 Corinthians 1:26 Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, 29 so that no one might boast in the presence of God. 30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
This morning I’m drawn to v.30 above. In the Old Testament it was the law (God’s commandments, statutes, ordinances) that were considered wisdom. God’s people were to have the law “written on their hearts” (committed to memory and practice), to be meditated upon day and night, to be taught to their children. Of course, because of human sin the promise of the law to produce a people who were righteous in the eyes of God never materialized. The law did not ultimately serve to build up God’s people, but to condemn them.
Paul asserts here that Jesus “became for us wisdom from God”. I understand “wisdom” to represent that which leads people into right relationship with God. The law could not do it, but Jesus could – Jesus the Son of God who was crucified and raised from the dead so that we might have “righteousness and sanctification and redemption” as a pure gift of grace from God. This would have been a hard truth for Jews to accept, Jews who were long expecting a triumphant Messiah; as well as Greeks who would have scoffed at the idea that God could die. Ridiculous! But that’s what we Christians believe brothers and sisters.
Thanks be to God. Amen.