I am often asked how people can listen to the Jesus story and walk away untouched. The response can be found in our text today. We proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block and foolishness. In light of Paul’s statement, the question might be, why would anyone believe?
I grew up in a home where faith was taught and practiced. From the time I was little I heard stories of how God loves us, how we tend to turn away, yet God never does. So I was never tripped up by the stumbling block or offended by the foolishness of the gospel message.
But what if I had never heard, had been weaned on the milk of secular society, where pleasure, knowledge, self-fulfillment and power are the main diet? How would I respond to being told that I fall short, or that I was rescued by someone who had died on the cross? Would I appreciate being told to deny myself? Not on your life.
Our task is simply to tell the story, in word and deed, praying for Christ’s Spirit to open the hearts of those who hear. And he does.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that not only are you a stumbling block and foolishness, but also power and wisdom. May we proclaim you boldly. Amen. — DAB