The Word of the Cross

For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but to us which are saved it is de power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and be prudence of de prudent will I reject. Where is the Wise? Where is the Scribe? Where is the Disputer of the World? (1 Corinthians 1:18-24)
TO the sick and gasping even wholesome meats are unpleasant, friends and relations burdensome; who are often times not even recognized, but are rather accounted intruders. Much like this often is the case of those who are perishing in their souls. For the things which tend to salvation they know not; and those who are careful about them they consider to be troublesome. Now this ensues not from the nature of the thing, but from their disease. And just what the insane do, hating those who take care of them, and besides reviling them, the same is the case with unbelievers also…. This is the nature of the thing, that its power is not recognized by them that perish. For they are beside themselves, and behave as madmen; and so they rail and are disgusted at the medicines which bring health….For suppose a man, wishing to make out all things by reasoning; and let him try by thy discourse to convince himself how we see the light; and do thou try to convince him by reasoning, Nay, thou canst not ….Wherefore, leaving this unto God’s power and boundless wisdom, let us be silent.

Just so with regard to the things of God; should we desire to explain them by the wisdom which is from without, great derision will ensue, not from their infirmity, but from the folly of men. For the great things of all no language can explain…. Say not then, “why did He not help Himself on the Cross?” for he was hastening on to close conflict with death himself. He descended not from the Cross, not because He could not, but because He would not. For Him Whom the tyranny of death restrained not, how could the nails of the Cross restrain?….

For what sort of philosopher, which among those who have studied logic, which of those knowing in Jewish matters, hath saved us and made known the truth? Not one. It was the fisherman’s work, the whole of it…. But how did He” destroy wisdom?” Being made known to us by Paul and others like him, He shewed it to be unprofitable… For he means to say how by contraries God hath overcome, and how the Gospel is not of man.

St. John Chrysostom, HOMILY 4 on I Corintians, NPNF2 12.16

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