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Romans blog post 8: Fool’s wisdom

February 23, 2015

“Got myself some wisdom from a leather backed book
Got myself a Saviour when I took a second look” – Malcolm & Alwyn – Fool’s wisdom (from the album ‘Fool’s wisdom’)

Romans 1:14

Verse 14 is odd. I am reading a book on Romans at the moment and for some reason this verse has been missed out.

Paul owes one to the Greeks and the non-Greeks. He also owes one to the wise and the foolish.

I am guessing he is not saying; Greek = wise; Non-Greek = foolish!!

But it’s odd because he would normally talk about Jew’s and Gentiles. Greek could just be a generic term for Gentiles. In which case the Romans were Greeks.

Paul states elsewhere that he was a Jew. But also a Roman citizen. He had a foot in both camps.

And whilst Peter was called to preach to the Jews, Paul was called to the Gentiles.

He never seemed to forget his Jewish heritage though to a large extent he had moved on.

The Jewish law had been his teacher. But now he had found the grace of God. And he was travelling the known world to share it.

Wise and foolish? I’m not sure. Though in Corinthians Paul states that Greeks look for wisdom. And Jews look for signs. Is that looking for the miraculous considered to be foolishness? He describes the cross of Jesus as foolishness to the Greeks.

Thus his message to the Corinthians was not about wise words, but he came in weakness, preaching Jesus and his crucifixion.

In that apparent act of weakness and failure, the gospel of Jesus is centred.

Paul can reason. That is evident from his writings. But he spoke freely a gospel which many thought ridiculous. And still do.

There may be times for us too to reason, but perhaps mostly to proclaim the gospel, with fear and trembling, but trusting God’s Holy Spirit to do the work in people’s hearts.

And as he says here, he is eager to preach the gospel. There’s a part of me that longs to do that too. But I suspect there’s too much of me that sees the foolishness in it all, and fails to trust the risen Jesus when it counts.

In my workplace, in the press, scorn is poured on Christian belief. It’s foolishness. So what will you and I do.

Where is that foolishness, that power that was birthed in the cross of Jesus?

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