Don’t Seek Elegant Preaching of the Cross

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And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

1 Corinthians 2:1-2

It is in the nature of the cross that it cannot be preached elegantly and brilliantly, only in weakness.  –H.R. Weber (quoted in David Garland’s commentary on 1 Corinthians)

David Garland writes…

The subject of the preaching, Jesus Christ crucified, was regarded as weak, those who responded to the preacher were regarded as weak, and the preacher of the gospel came off as week. When Paul preached, others questioned his sufficiency for the task (2 Cor. 2:16; 3:5). 

The preacher’s task is not to create a persuasive message at all, but to convey effectively the already articulated message of another.

The message is God’s and it is conveyed by means that look weak, foolish, and unimpressive to the world.

Carrying a placard announcing the crucified Messiah as the glory of God in simple unadorned words make the herald look foolish in the eyes of the world. But such “foolishness” reveals that God, not the messenger, is to be credited for saving those who believe that message. 

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