In writing to the Corinthians of Greece Paul said, “For indeed Jews ask for signs, and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness” (1 Cor.1:22-23).  In the Greek language foolishness is skandalon, from which we get our English word “scandal.” The philosophy-ridden world of Greece just could not understand how any benefit could come from a beaten, bloodied, and murdered man. Why should they line up behind a spiritual leader who couldn’t prevent his own execution? It was not attractive to them; it was scandalous. But God used what the world considered offensive to be the very power that could save them.

We are a bit bewildered today as our society heads more in the direction of accepting and promoting social issues that God has declared to be wrong. To us, it is shocking and scandalous. At the same time, society points its finger at the church and calls it a scandal because we do not go along with them. This tension between society and the church is nothing new and should not surprise us. Christianity was founded upon the unjust and scandalous death of a righteous man sent from God. The world has never been happy with it. Why should they be happy with us now?

Jesus frankly told his apostles, “They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. And these things they will do, because they have not known the father, or Me” (John 16:2-3). The world has done these things  every century since.

But Jesus also threw us a life saver: “These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (v33). Don’t be shocked or discouraged when the world heads the wrong way and makes things hard for us when we won’t go along with them. If it happened then, it will happen today.

But we keep on living for Him and speaking for Him.

– Tim Johnson