Jitters. Weak knees. Dry mouth. Shaking hands.
And then you are before the crowd—or the one.
Can you speak the Truth with boldness?
1When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with testimony or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. (I Corinthians 2:1-5)
The Apostle Paul, speaking before the church at Corinth, not with the eloquence of the orators of his day, not with their perfect elocution of delivery, but speaking plainly and simply the knowledge of “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” His weakness, fear, and trembling became God’s perfect “demonstration of the Spirit’s power” to deliver that wisdom, not from Paul’s background, training, and education, but from the only One with true wisdom.
How would human “wisdom” explain the crucifixion of Christ? Philosophers would philosophize, orators would debate, jurists would look to the law, Pharisees would look to themselves– and all would likely arrive at the conclusion that this is not wisdom. To allow one’s only son, the only heir, to die and suffer on the cross, one of the cruelest devices of torture surely cannot be wisdom. To choose to suffer and die surely cannot be wisdom. To live, assume one’s rightful heritage, and make a difference through one’s life, surely that is more wise.
Human “wisdom” is limited by human thought. “For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him?”(I Corinthians 2:11). I cannot know your thoughts, and you cannot know mine. We can each guess and infer, but we cannot truly know each other’s thoughts. If all I know are my own thoughts, then I have little to no means of obtaining knowledge beyond what I already know. To go beyond my thoughts, I can study philosophy, listen to debates, dissect the law—but I will, ultimately, come back to myself in the mirror of my own thoughts to judge, “What is wisdom?”
For me to go beyond me and for you to go beyond you, we must each have the Spirit of God as our teacher to help us understand and speak His wisdom.
13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:13-16).
Paul proclaimed to the Corinthian brethren: “When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with testimony or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (I Corinthians 2:1). This is what we need to know and what we need to speak and proclaim, like Paul did long ago. God’s wisdom doesn’t change; it just IS.
We may be jittery, weak, and shaking, but when we go forward and speak of “Jesus Christ and Him crucified,” we have the power of God’s Spirit within us to deliver this good news to others—boldly. And this is our mission.
(Sharon G. Tate blog 09/18/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word