Jul 27, 2022
In yesterday’s reading, Jeremiah complained to the Lord,
“Lord, if I argued my case with you,
you would [be shown//prove] to be right.
Yet I must question you about matters of justice.
Why are the wicked so prosperous?
Why do dishonest people succeed?
And the Lord replied in an answer that bears reading in context and needs some thinking about,
“Jeremiah, if you get tired racing against
how can you race against horses?
If you can't even stand up in open country,
how will you manage in the jungle by the Jordan?
This poem is quite a contrast with what we have just heard in Jeremiah. This is the joyful prayer of a king who is leading his people according to the will of God.
In Paul’s day, Corinth was a metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea with a population of between one hundred and fifty thousand and three hundred thousand Roman citizens and about 460,000 slaves. There was evidently a healthy criminal population, and the city was a center of banking, so there were incredibly wealthy people there. The city was full of idol shrines of deities from Egypt, Greece, and Rome, and there was cult prostitution.
Some commentators claim that 1 Corinthians contains parts of two letters from Paul, so that 2nd Corinthians might actually be a third or fourth letter. I don’t buy that.
Key topics of the letter include the divisions in the church, the obstacles to sharing the Gospel, God’s wisdom as it appears to Greeks and Jews, partnership among apostles of Christ, vice in the church, various instructions about marriage, the Lord’s supper, food sacrificed to idols, Paul not cashing in on his rights as an apostle, spiritual gifts and the spiritual fruit of love, and the resurrection of Christ.
1Cor. 1:12 Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,d” or [even] “I follow only Christ.”
17 For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News—and not with clever speech, [so//for fear] that the cross of Christ would lose its power.
22 It is [foolishness/foolish] to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is [foolishness/foolish] to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom.
27 Instead, God chose things [and people] 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.
30 God has [joined you as one//united you] with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.