The church in Corinth was divided along social lines – the upper class versus the lower class – and ethnic lines – the Gentiles versus the Jews.
To the Gentiles, the idea of a crucified God was pure folly. According to prevalent Greek philosophy; an infinite and powerful God would never submit Himself to becoming human. God, who is pure spirit, would never confine Himself to the evil inherent in human flesh. He would never come to us; instead, we would have to inspire to rid ourselves of our flesh and go to where He is, in a pure spirit world. Moreover, the suffering Jesus experienced on the cross was a sign of weakness, not a sign of Almighty God.
Thus, the gospel, the message that God’s Son had voluntarily submitted Himself to the horrors of crucifixion, it was pure foolishness – both to the Jew and the Gentile. Neither the Greeks, with their philosophical schools, or the Jews, with their intensive training in God’s law, understood or accepted it.
Yet this foolish gospel message is the wisdom of God. His wisdom transcends all our thinking. We tend to respect earthly achievements. Books are written on how to succeed, how to become learned, how to impress people, and how to exercise power over others. The beauty of God’s wisdom is that He humbles earthly wisdom, turning it upside down. He humbled Himself to suffer on a cross, in order to offer forgiveness to all those who believe on Him. In essence, God’s wisdom is love – an extraordinary love for us.
That is why Paul spoke about the power of this gospel message. The proud of this world are humbled, and those who humble themselves under God are exalted. They are freely forgiven and await an eternal inheritance in heaven.
Yes, Christians worship a God who revealed Himself in suffering and weakness – pure foolishness to a power-hungry world – but a powerful message of love to all who believe!