Why is the Cross Foolish to the World?

by Jun 12, 2014

Paul tells the Corinthians that the word of the cross is foolish to those who are perishing. Why is the message foolish? What is it about the cross, the gospel, that is seen as foolish by those who reject it? He tells us later that God chose this “foolish” way specifically “so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1 Cor. 1:29). The message of the gospel strips men and women of their ability to boast in anything that they accomplished or achieved themselves. But I want so desperately to boast in my accomplishments. I want to do that in every area of life. I want to boast that my hard work that led to my promotion. I want to boast that my charm and dashing looks won over my fiancee. And I want to boast of how I saw the light and came to God on my own. In other words, I want to boast that I am accepted because of my own self-discipline or natural talent.

Paul says in another letter that if I want to be accepted on these conditions, that “[I am] severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace” (Gal. 5:4). If I could boast in my own accomplishments apart from Jesus, then I wouldn’t need Jesus. He would be no advantage to me (Gal 5:2).

And that’s why the message of the cross is so foolish to the world.  It is foolish because it is completely void of human accomplishment or merit. It solely rests on God’s grace; his favor given without being earned. I am praying that the Spirit will continue to reveal God’s truth to me (1 Cor. 2:12-13), because I know that in my flesh I will view it as foolishness.