Our culture is saturated with a compulsion to find the best in our world. We have contests for talent, beauty, singing and entertaining. We have game shows that feature the strongest and the smartest. We lavish honor on the best athletes, the savviest survivors, and the most watched podcaster.
In the city of Corinth philosophers were the superstars of the day. They acquired a herd of groupies that followed their every pronouncement. They developed a following that was loyal and devoted. When Paul wrote to the believers in the church that was in Corinth, he had to remind them of some very important truths. He first reminded them that philosophy doesn’t save your soul. Even the best wise words of human wisdom cannot redeem mankind from his sinful condition. The philosophers of the day thought that the preaching of the cross was just a bunch of foolishness. However, only the gospel message contains the power of God. Believing that Jesus died on the cross as a payment for our sins transforms us into a child of God.
Paul also had to remind the Corinthian church to take a good hard look at themselves. They were obsessed with the successful and the wise. Paul told them in 1 Cor. 1:26-28: “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are”. In other words, while they were looking for the “somebodies” God is looking for the “nobodies”. God loves to choose and use those who have nothing in themselves to boast about so that “no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Cor. 1:29).
While the whole world is looking for the greatest, the strongest, and the smartest, God is looking for the “nobodies”. He will save us, transform us, and use us to bring glory to Him alone.