Bible Society of South Africa
Hennie Symington

A journey of the soul – Day 11

Sharing God through vulnerability

Bible text(s)

Christ the Power and the Wisdom of God

18For the message about Christ's death on the cross is nonsense to those who are being lost; but for us who are being saved it is God's power. 19The scripture says:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise

and set aside the understanding of the scholars.”

20So then, where does that leave the wise? or the scholars? or the skilful debaters of this world? God has shown that this world's wisdom is foolishness!

21For God in his wisdom made it impossible for people to know him by means of their own wisdom. Instead, by means of the so-called “foolish” message we preach, God decided to save those who believe. 22Jews want miracles for proof, and Greeks look for wisdom. 23As for us, we proclaim the crucified Christ, a message that is offensive to the Jews and nonsense to the Gentiles;

1 Corinthians 1:18-23GNBOpen in Bible reader

We do not like to think of God as vulnerable. Our souls yearn for a God who is a rock – a God who fixes what is broken, who saves when all is lost. It is human nature to seek gods who wield power: the ancient Greeks had Zeus with his lightning bolts that he shot out in fits of anger, while the Egyptian sun god Ra and Shiva from the Hindu mythology, are seen as almighty deities who not only controlled the forces of nature but also the fate of men. Even Yahweh, in the Old Testament, is seen as a God who is mightier than the Egyptian god. Remember Moses pitting the strength of the God of Israel against that of the Pharaoh; and Elijah challenging Baal on Mount Carmel and setting the God of Israel up against him almost as if to say “my God is stronger than your god!”?

Yet, in Christ, we experience God as the vulnerable one. He does not make his appearance in power and glory but as a helpless baby in a crib, born to ordinary parents like you and I. He has no place to lay down his head and is crucified as a common criminal.

Why? Why does the all-powerful God of the universe choose to reveal himself in this way? What does it mean to us that God chooses to engage the world in this way? Perhaps, it is in his wounded state that God best demonstrates his solidarity with the weak, the outsider, the broken-hearted, the outcasts and those who suffer physically and mentally; and with you and me. He is our brother and suffers with us in whatever befalls us. Moreover, through his suffering, he redeems us. That is power in the true sense of the word of God.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.7
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