Every time I read the Holy Bible I am utterly blown away by how much wisdom can be gathered by reading it over and over again, more slowly, with intention. After all, in Matthew 7:7, Jesus tells us to seek and we shall find.
Today, in what isn’t a random occurrence (because I was seeking), but a random verse that can only be brought to my attention through the help of the Holy Spirit (ye shall find), is a verse from First Corinthians,
— 1 Corinthians 1:18
1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
If you just read through the verse quickly, you may have missed what the verse is articulating and that is because of English grammar and how it translates into tone when we read. [Side note: the original verses written in Greek do not have punctuation so they are inputted by the English translators as best as they can.] So if we read it slowly we might come up with something like this (for comprehension only): For the preaching of the cross is to the that perish, foolishness; but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God.
It now seems like a more complete and even comparison of the concept. Paul is telling all of us about his experiences while preaching the gospel, and what we are likely to encounter as we spread the good news of the gospel. To the people who don’t understand, don’t want to understand, and are living lives where they rely on their own wisdom or that of man, the Gospel is just a silly book to them and trying to teach them about it is futile, or as Paul writes, “foolishness.” On the other hand, when the Gospel is preached to those who want to learn, who want to change, who want to be saved, and continue the narrow path, the Gospel is literally the power of God.
The same words are for one person the key to a powerful life lived in Christ Jesus, and yet, to another, it is a bunch of nonsense. As Christians whose job it is to go and preach the Gospel, we must be aware of who we are talking to because the words will mean different things to each of them, and therefore, it is our job as Christians to change our actions and words accordingly. We can either change our words to tell the message differently to the audience to plant the seeds of Christ, or we can choose to leave altogether and leave them alone, knowing that preaching the gospel to them could be foolish. After all, if you are wasting your time on them, you are potentially missing out on preaching the gospel to someone who does want salvation. The truth is that we must come to grips that not everyone wants to know about Jesus. We as Christians must be tough enough to deal with that and focus our resources on people who are seeking Christ because if we don’t, we will miss out on preaching the Gospel to double the people. Remember to ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in this quest and comfort you. It isn’t an easy task.