For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Corinthians 1:22-25)
Miracles are good evidence for something being of God, and there's no doubt that we want wisdom, right? These things are obvious.
But what do we make of our own wisdom and why do we seek signs?
In truth, we look to be the arbiters, we want to fashion ourselves as sitting in judgment over others. These are the tools that we need to do that. Demand a sign, and you're the judge about which signs are adequate to prove what's true. Possess wisdom and you can make the judgements about right and wrong, good and bad, and so on.
But the cross moves us to a place we don't really want to be—to a place of humility. Because when we look at the cross we have to admit that weakness is not something to be avoided but something we must embrace. And to do that, we also have to embrace the shame of the cross, the shame of our weakness and need. Only then can we receive the true power of the cross—the freedom from sin and shame.
That's why it's a stumbling block and folly to those who reject shame and sin as being true about them (really truly true). But to those who are being saved, Christ is power and wisdom.
That's why we have to pray for the Spirit of God to do his work on the hearts of those who would otherwise reject Jesus. Only he can tear down the walls of defense we put up to keep out shame and guilt. And to our advantage, we can tell the story of how he has done that in our own lives. If we do that, we show that there is freedom from shame on the other side of shame, that there is forgiveness on the other side of admitting guilt, and that there is life on the other side of death.
Who are you praying for today?