“We preach Christ crucified; a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles”
1 Corinthians 1: 23
God is full of surprises. He sprung a great surprise in Jesus Christ that both Jews and Gentiles (Greeks) were equally taken aback. Jesus was a complete contrast to the expectation of both the groups regarding the salvation of men. Jews longed for a Messiah – a Messiah with power to overthrow the Romans. The Greeks expected an emergence of a revolutionary philosophy from the saviour which could supplant all the great philosophies of ancient time. Only through that kind of knowledge, men could be saved.
But both groups were disappointed with Jesus and what He did to save the mankind. What Jews got was a Messiah who suffered and died at the hands of the Romans. What Greeks got was the ‘message of the crucified Christ’ which in content was not appealing to their speculative mind.
If Jesus had been an astute leader who mobilised the masses against the Romans, Jews would have accepted him as Messiah. In the same way, if Jesus would have saved men through a philosophical system which provides answers to all the questions raised by philosophers, it would have made all the difference for the hungry minds of Greeks. But God surprised both the groups.
God is full of surprises!
This fact is true in our lives also. When we pray over a problem, God chooses a unique way which we never thought of or expected to bring solution. God is God only because He is full of surprises. If He works things according to our expectations and will, His power would appear to be limited. But he always surprises us.
So when we expect a miracle from God, we should remember the words spoken through Isaiah, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Is 55: 8).
When we see no way out of our problems, we should rely on him to surprise us. He used a shameful symbol of the Roman Empire – the cross – to carry out his redeeming work. He can use any insignificant thing to bring answer to our problems.
Each problem is an opportunity for us to see how God can surprise us.