The beloved are nots
God blesses those who are poor in spirit and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. – Matthew 5:3
1 Corinthians 1:26-28
26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.
27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.
28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, the things that are not, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.
What values were the motivating force of the culture of the Greco-Roman world? It was a time and place defined by the level of status and honor one possessed (MacMullen). “Rome was a highly stratified and therefore an immensely self-conscious society characterized by complex systems for defining, signifying, and acknowledging status” (Beacham). Money (Pecunia) and Status (Philotimia) were worshiped as goddesses (Barclay).
Celsus was a second-century Greek philosopher and antagonist of early Christianity. He wrote one of the most scathing attacks on Christianity of that time. He asserted that the Christian outlook was: “Let no cultured person draw near, none wise, none sensible; for all that kind of thing we count evil; but if any man is ignorant if any is wanting in sense and culture if any is a fool let him come boldly.” He claimed that the Christians were “‘like a swarm of bats – or ants creeping out of their nests – or frogs holding a symposium around a swamp – or worms in gathering in a corner of mud” (Barclay).
What made Christianity so attractive to those who would become children of the King? It “introduced them into a society committed to looking at them primarily as people, all equally valuable and valued. It gave them a space in which they could flourish in freedom.” The cross “embodied the paradox they lived” and “made sense of the ambiguity of their lives” (Murphy-O’Connor).
This gracious acceptance is what made Christianity remarkable and attractive. The Roman Empire had over 60,000,000 slaves. “In the eyes of the law, a slave was a ‘living tool’, a thing and not a person at all . . .. Christianity made people who were things into real men and women; more, into sons and daughters of God. It gave self-respect to those who had no respect; it gave life eternal to those who had no life; it told them that, even if they did not matter to others, they still mattered intensely to God. It told people who were worthless in the eyes of the world that, in the eyes of God, they were worth the death of his only Son. Christianity was, and still is, the most uplifting thing in the whole universe” (Barclay).
The Father chose the are nots to confound those that are. To Him, they were beloved!
1 Corinthians 1:28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, the things that are not, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.
REFLECT & PRAY
Children of the King are the beloved are nots ofthe eternal, omnipotent Father God.
Father thank You for loving me just as I am, sinful and foolish. There is nothing I could ever do to earn Your acceptance and love. Thank You for graciously bestowing upon me.
Who are the children of the King? They are typically not those whom the world considers of high esteem. They are not wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy (1 Corinthians 1:26). Rather, with a few exceptions (Moses, Joseph, Daniel, Esther, Paul, etc.) they are the antithesis of what the world would choose. They are just regular folks. But they are the Father’s folks. What the world does not choose, the Father has chosen. He has chosen to make them His own and they are beloved.
Pause and consider that for a moment. That is exactly what Paul asked us to do to consider or think about our calling (1 Corinthians 1:26)
Why did the Father choose us?
The Greek verb translated as chosen is eklegomai. Eklegomai has the sense of selecting for one’s own reasons or purposes from a number of alternatives. To get a bit technical, this Greek verb is in the middle voice of Greek. The middle voice is used to express self-involvement or self-interest. Thus it connotes that the Father had a stake, a personal interest in the choices which He made. He chose the children of the King to be His because He wanted to. The Father wanted us. We are attractive and desirable to Him. We are His beloved.
What a glorious, gracious method of selection. There is no competition to make the cut. The Father has chosen those whom He has chosen. This reality is reiterated three times by Paul for emphasis in 1 Corinthians 1:27-28. He has chosen “from the midst of the world . . . those individuals whom no one judged worthy of attention and made them the bearers of His kingdom” (Garland).
The need for love and acceptance is a universal desire of the human race. Abraham Maslow conceived a hierarchy of human need in 1943. It has become a motivational theory in psychology. According to Maslow, the need for love and belonging is of foundational importance to the human race. Every child of the King is unconditionally loved and accepted for time and eternity.
According to the world, the children of the King are foolish. The Greek word translated as foolish is moros. Moros connotes dull, stupid, or foolishness. The English word moron comes from this word. Those who are morons in the eyes of the world are greatly loved by the Father. What matters most, the opinions of fallen humankind or the assessment and choice of the Father, the living God?
Paul compares the children of the King who are considered to be foolish, weak, and powerless, to the seeming weakness and powerlessness of the cross. The work of the cross and the death of Christ to redeem a lost world, is the greatest work ever wrought by the mighty arm of the Father, the omnipotent God.
Isaiah 52:10 The LORD has bared His holy arm . . .. that all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of our God.
“God chose the foolish because the wise thought the cross was sheer folly as a means for saving the world, the weak because the strong thought they were powerful enough without God, and the low and despised because the high and mighty did not care to debase themselves by attaching themselves to a crucified God” (Garland).
“God purposely chose the things that humans consider foolish in order to shame so-called wise people, and he chose the things that humans consider weak to shame powerful people” (UBS). “… for he (God) wanted to reduce to nothing those who are something before men” (GeCL).“He (God) decided to cause people whom humans consider important to have no importance at all” (UBS).
© Dr. H 2022