I opened to 1 Corinthians this morning and the Holy Spirit stopped me a moment at verse 23: “But we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness.”
For some clarity, I turned then to the Amplified Bible – one that includes the nuances of the Greek (or Hebrew) words. It reads: “We preach Christ (the Messiah) crucified, [preaching which] to the Jews is a scandal and an offensive stumbling block [that springs a snare or trap], and to the Gentiles it is absurd and utterly unphilosophical nonsense.”
Focus on ‘crucified.’ Now focus on “Messiah’ – God's anointed One.
Now, please get that: We preach the crucified MESSIAH!
NO WONDER Jews stumbled over Jesus’ death, thinking it offensive and scandalous. And no wonder Gentiles thought the whole bit about Him being God's Son was a crazy absurdity.
After all, Jews NEVER expected their mighty warrior-Messiah to end up battered, bloodied, and naked on a Roman cross. And Gentiles could NEVER believe that anyone nailed to a dishonorable, torturous, bloody cross could be victorious over ANYTHING.
The whole scene reeked of irrational nonsense for both groups.
Fast forward 2000 years and nothing much has changed. For most of humanity who know the story, the whole scene still reeks of irrational drivel.
BUT – and here is the next verse: “But to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.“ (1 Corinthians 1:24)
So, my point?
How can you know if you are called by God to be His son or daughter? That verse I just quoted (v. 24) will give you a pretty good clue. Do you believe Jesus IS God's Son, God's anointed Messiah – meaning ‘God's power, God's righteousness, God's sacrifice for your sins?’
If yes, then you are on the narrow road that leads to eternal life. So, keep traveling. Keep learning to be obedient to the Messiah.
However, if you do not believe those things about Jesus, if such things are absurd and offensive to your modern philosophies, then I need to tell you – I MUST tell you: You are on the wrong road, wide as it might be, to eternal destruction. And you need to ask God to show you His truth about Jesus, and He WILL show you.
Someone once wisely observed: To those who believe, no evidence is necessary. To those who will not believe, no evidence is sufficient.