The preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing (1 Corinthians 1:18). Therefore many believers try to make the gospel acceptable to others by preaching a gospel without the cross. It cannot make an impact on souls crushed under the burden of sin and its guilt and shame.
Along with Paul let us say, “I am not ashamed of the gospel (Romans 1:16).” That means we will lift up the crucified Jesus Christ for all to see. There is something that we cannot explain that is magnetic in the scene of the cross. It was there that Jesus shed his blood for the forgiveness of sins of all mankind.
#1. But why is it foolishness in the eyes of the world? It is foolishness to them because they do not understand that the basic problem of all mankind is sin (see Romans 3:23). Instead of addressing this basic problem, they try different methods to make people better human beings. But all of them will fail in the final analysis.
To a certain extent education has helped. But it has not solved man’s need for forgiveness and finding peace with God. Several crimes are still being committed by people who are brilliantly educated. So it simply proves that the wisdom of this world will not solve man’s real problem.
#2. Again the message of the cross is foolishness to the world because it is a picture of weakness. There you find a Man dying; wounded and bleeding. There is a Man lying naked and made the object of mockery and ridicule. Surely, to their minds, this cannot be God’s plan. “How can God become so weak?” that is what the boasting and proud mind of the world thinks.
But Paul has the answer to this problem. He says that Christ was crucified in weakness but he lives by God’s power (2 Corinthians 13:4). The people of the world who think they are wise believe that the cross was the end of life for Jesus Christ. No. He lives by God’s power having risen from the dead.
#3. Finally the message of the cross is foolishness to the world because it is too simple. Remember how Naaman reacted when Elisha asked him to wash himself in the River Jordan seven times. He said there were bigger rivers in Damascus. He had other thoughts in his mind as to how Elisha would heal him (2 Kings 5:10—13).
But this simple thing like washing himself in the River Jordan was too simple a task for the great commander of the Syrian army. But he was cleansed only when he did so. Likewise those who come to Jesus trusting in his precious blood for the cleansing of their sins get saved.
Likewise the people of the world want to do something to merit salvation.They think that doing good deeds, doing penance, going on pilgrimage, chanting certain mantras or slogans, or being a martyr for some noble cause is going to give them salvation and a place in heaven.
Some of these things, though good in themselves, cannot make man reach heaven. For The Bible declares, “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” before God.
So when you tell the gospel to someone, point them to the foolishness of God—the cross where the Saviour died.
Even when people reject it and mock you; there still is that magnetic pull of the cross which cannot be resisted by even the hard-hearted when the Holy Spirit moves in his or her heart. Point people to the cross of Jesus Christ and trust God to do the rest. Amen.