Let’s read 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 in order to get the whole context, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.’ Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For the Jews request a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (NKJV).

In this passage of Scripture we see there are only two classes of men and two views of the message of the cross. There are “those who are perishing” who view the message of the cross as “foolishness”; and there are those “who are being saved” who know that the message of the cross is “the power of God.” The word “foolishness” means “silly” or “stupid” and that’s exactly what those who are perishing think of the cross. Their reason and logic leads them to say, “It’s stupid to believe that a man dying a shameful death on a cross can save the sinner.” They fail to see that this wasn’t a mere man, but that Jesus was “God manifest in the flesh,” and that He became a man so He could lay down His sinless live as a perfect sacrifice for sin. Those of us who are saved have been given the faith to believe this and thus we know that the message of Christ’s death on the cross is indeed “the power of God.”

Hundreds of years before the Lord Jesus died on the cross to save sinners; the prophet Isaiah had prophesied that God would “destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” (see Isaiah 29:14). This is what the message of the cross has done! God has completely set aside man’s supposed wisdom by accomplishing what they, in their worldly wisdom, could never have accomplished. God never consulted with the wise of this world when He devised the plan of salvation and He is now saving all who will believe the message of the cross, knowing full well that the “wise” in this world would consider the message “foolishness.”

Verse 25 sums up what we have been considering.  When Paul says, “the foolishness of God is wiser than men,” he is really saying, “What seems to be the foolishness of God, from man’s point of view, is actually wiser than man’s wisdom at its best.”  The message of the cross is contrary to man’s thoughts and intellect, yet it solved the problem of sin, a problem they could never solve with even the greatest minds. And when he says, “the weakness of God is stronger than men,” he really means, “What seems to be the weakness of God in the eyes of men is actually stronger than anything their strength could accomplish.” Again, unbelieving men look at the cross and consider it a display of weakness, but in reality it was God’s display of power where Christ vanquished for us every foe, including Satan and death. This was something that men, who boast of their strength and power, could never do. Praise God for the truth that we read in verse 24, for to those of us who have been called, Christ is indeed “the power of God and the wisdom of God!”  (192.1)  (DO)