Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.1 Corinthians 1:22-24 NIV
In Paul’s day, the Jews looked for miraculous signs to authenticate a prophet’s message (Matt. 12:38; 16:1). In essence, they were asking God to verify the message came from him. In contrast, the Greeks were interested in wisdom. They wanted logical proof to accompany the message (Acts 17:21). But Paul was unwilling to cater to either group. His message was simple – the crucified Christ.
A crucified messiah was offensive to the Jews and foolish to the Greeks. But Paul understood that the power and wisdom of God were demonstrated in Christ’s death on the cross. And this power and wisdom are most clearly seen in the transformed lives of those God has called. Through the cross of Christ, we die to what we were and are raised to a new life in Christ.
In many ways, our world today is different than Paul’s. But yet, in this regard, it is much the same. Some people demand that God prove himself with signs, while others look for rational arguments. But we should never lose sight of the centrality of the cross of Christ. It is the power and wisdom of God and is at the heart of the gospel message. Boldly proclaim the cross and crucified Christ, the power and wisdom of God.