For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1: 17-18
I’ve spent more than three decades interacting with physicians and in most cases, doctors are very succinct in their assessment of a patient’s condition. I’ve listened as some have recorded their dictation with precision. No wasted words or thoughts and so, they often appreciate concise questions and descriptions from people like me as well.
This week I’ve been in meetings where we’ve often focused on making the most of what are becoming increasingly brief interactions with physicians. This afternoon’s exercise focused on interactions as short as thirty seconds.
Some people have the ability to zero in on the important things and others take a more indirect approach. Paul was direct and that is exactly what he is doing in the two verses listed above. While the Corinthians were debating whether Paul or Apollos was a better leader or speaker, Paul is pointing out that the heart of the Gospel is nothing more than the power of the cross – the death and resurrection of Christ. :
This is not to say that the message of the Gospel is not profound, but is it possible that we sometimes complicate what is intended to be straightforward? Like the Jewish people and the Greeks in Corinth, we sometimes get slowed down by the clutter of form and ritual, and religion, when the message of Christ is “the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God, is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1: 24-25).