Jan 29 2017
1 Cor 1:18-31
Suppose someone came into your house and turned all the pictures on your walls upside down. How would you react? Would you get angry? Would you quietly go around after your visitor had gone and turn them back upright? Or would you look at them with new eyes and say to yourself, “I made a mistake. I think they look better that way”? What if your outlook on life was turned upside down? How would you react? Get angry, quietly return to your old views or recognize that things looked much better now? Jesus came to Israel two thousand years ago and, as it were, turned the pictures on their walls upside down. He said that the people who belong to God’s messianic kingdom are those who are poor in spirit, who mourn over the state of the world, who are meek and who hunger and thirst after righteousness. They are merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, and faithful through persecution. In writing to the Corinthian Christians about twenty-five years later Paul acknowledged that the message about a crucified man being the Lord of heaven and earth was foolishness to many. But he insisted this was the right way round. As hard as it is even for people today to accept, the Gospel announces that the right way of looking at the world is from the perspective of a crucified Messiah. Pride prevents people from admitting that they have got it wrong – they are sure that self-assertion gets you what you want, that money buys you happiness, that all that matters is satisfying one’s own ego and its desires. However, as Paul said, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
- Read Acts 17:1-7: In what way could it be said that Paul and Silas were turning the world upside down?
- In the light of 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, what does it mean to look out on the world from the perspective of a crucified Messiah?
- Why do people think it foolish to believe in Christ crucified as the Saviour of the world?
- In what way does pride interfere with the mission of the Church and the witness of Christian people?