1 Corinthians 1: Why They Don’t Believe
Even in the time of Paul, it seems to be the case that many of the same doubts around who Jesus was were counted for in the marketplace of ideas. In 1 Corinthians 1, we see the general problems of the Jewish and Greek people in understanding Jesus Christ.
1Co 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
1Co 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
1Co 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
The Jewish people wanted a sign. They had everything that they expected the Messiah to be, and Jesus Christ did not fit the bill. He was not a military conqueror who dominated the Roman Empire and made Israel great again. They did not have faith that Jesus was who He said He was even if He came in a different package, so they were looking for a different kind of sign.
The Greek people just thought it was ridiculous. They thought it was foolish. Of course dead men don’t come back to life. Even if the evidence points in that way, of course that can’t happen by default because it is foolishness. Searching for wisdom is a privately noble pursuit, but human wisdom is not everything. It is not the highest pursuit.
I hope that these sound kind of familiar. Today, you have the people who want irrefutable historical proof that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. I think with anything short of a time machine that they can use to go back themselves, and the evidence would be deemed as insufficient. Even though there has been plenty of work to show how based on the historical sources we do have, it is certainly reasonable to believe in our crucified and resurrected Savior, some people are still looking for that sign. Similarly, philosophical naturalism is powerful today. Of course dead people don’t rise. It is ridiculous to think otherwise because that doesn’t happen. For these people, even though philosophical naturalism is an unfulfilling worldview, many people still follow it.
My main point for emphasizing these things is that there is nothing new under the sun. Maybe we feel like there are more ideological attacks on Christianity than they ever have been before. Maybe that’s true. I’m not sure. However, I can also tell you that Christianity has existed for approximately 2000 years. Many smart people have been Christians, and many smart people have attached Christianity. If there was a difficult question, I have a feeling it has probably been asked and answered somewhere.