“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)
The Basket Case Chronicles #9
“For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness” (1 Cor. 1:22-23).
Paul has asked the rhetorical questions—where is the scribe? where is the wise man? where is the great debater? And the implied answer is nowhere. God has made foolish the various worldly ways of being wise. God gave them the folly of preaching when they were looking for something else. Because they were looking elsewhere, they did not come to know God. What were they looking for? Well, at this point Paul breaks it out for us.
The Jews, a religious people, with a robust sense of the supernatural, were looking for a sign. The Greeks, a philosophically minded people, were seeking after wisdom. Instead of those two things, God gave them—through the vehicle of Christ-crucified sermons—a stumblingblock and foolishness respectively. The Jews were walking along looking for a sign in the heavens, and God gave them a stumbling block on the ground, and they fell clean over it. The Greeks were looking for tons of nuance and intellectual sophistication, and God gave them the raging folly of an incarnate Logos, impaled on a gibbet. This is not something Plato could have anticipated.
And God did it on purpose.