“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
I Corinthians 1:18-19, NIV
Sometimes we wonder “why” others we know hear the gospel but “don't get it.” Sometimes we think that to make the gospel palatable to others, we must explain the gospel as if it is a puzzle that can be solved in logical steps or a rational argument. Others want to their faith to be confirmed with a “sign” or some other kind of mystical-other-worldly-experience that will assure them they have been in contact in a special way with the divine.
The Corinthian church was filled with both Jews and Gentiles from all walks of society. He makes the point that the gospel is not born out of human wisdom nor is it sought and confirmed with a sign. The gospel is not human wisdom. Rather the gospel is God's power and God's wisdom. Christ crucified: “a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks.”
The wisdom of God is above human wisdom. Coming to the gospel is not an intellectual exercise because it cannot be apprehended and contained by intelligence alone. The gospel is a matter of faith from first to last. In coming to the gospel we are called to accept what God has done through Jesus Christ by faith. Only then will our hearts be shown to be truly turned towards God and seeking after him, and not ourselves.
In Isaiah's day, the people honored God with their lips but their hearts were far from him. Their worship was just rules taught by human beings. Why? Because our rules, regulations, and intellectual codification of the gospel puts us in control of the situation. We loose sight of what God wants from us, and we think that we have 'figured out' God and his ways. Might we have the same problem today?
On the contrary, the gospel will “not make sense” to a mind that is not truly seeking God from the heart. The gospel is not a matter of intelligence, signs or reason. It is a matter of faith in God's power.