The Power of the Weak
* * * * * * * * * * *
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, that no flesh should glory in His presence. (1 Cor. 1:26-29)
* * * * * * * * * * *
If there is one message that shouts to us from the pages of the Bible, it's that God uses the weak and powerless of this world to accomplish His purpose.
Every major Bible story is built around that theme. God used a nation of slaves to create a special people through whom He would send the Messiah. His messengers were often men of modest means--shepherds, fishermen, and the like--who were disdained by the powerful and wealthy. Even the few men of privilege whom God called to do His bidding (such as Abraham, Job, Moses, Paul) first had to be humbled by hardship and sacrifice before they were fit for the roles to which God had called them.
This principle kicked into overdrive when the Messiah finally came. Jesus came not as a conquering hero or a famous philosopher, but as an itinerant teacher who made a living with His hands, someone who was easily dismissed by the ruling class. His audiences were largely the riff-raff of society: prostitutes, crooks, and poor working class stiffs whose interests were of no concern to those who held the reins of power.
Does God just have a soft spot for the underdog? Or maybe this is His way of poking a finger in the eyes of the rich and powerful?
The truth is more intriguing than we realize. The genius of God's plan does not lie in the content of its teaching--though it is remarkable--nor in the social justice byproducts of His work--which are significant--but in its appeal to a target demographic that all the "smart" people dismiss as unimportant. Historically, genuine Christianity has drawn the marginalized elements of society, huge in numbers but exhausted of strength. God's modus operandi of going for these people has precisely the effect that He intends: great numbers of ordinary men and women answer His bidding and exert a powerful leavening influence in the world, while the smug and self-righteous turn up their noses and remain stuck in their conceit.
In the end, which group will have the greatest impact on the world? More importantly, which group are you in?