The church in the city of Corinth was only a short distance from the capital of Greece: Athens. Greeks, above all else, loved philosophy: the practice of reasoning and arguing and ultimately proving things to one another. All day long in the city, these philosophers would get together and present their points of view and argue them amongst each other. And Paul, when he was in Athens, had done the same with the Gospel. In the book of Acts it says that “when they heard of the resurrection, some mocked,” (Acts 17:32). Paul went and preached to them in the way in which they were accustomed. He used their own method to share the gospel to them. But it was not very effective.
So now, when Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, he describes a very different way of sharing the gospel. Instead of coming with “excellence of speech or of wisdom” he says “I was with you in weakness in fear and in trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” It was not Paul’s ability to reason that convinced the Corinthians to follow Jesus. It was not his appearance that compelled them to accept what he was saying. He had no eloquent words. He had physical infirmities that would make a normal person say “This guy, really?” It was not because of anything in and of himself. It was actually his lack that pointed people to Jesus. It was the very fact that he had nothing to offer in and of himself that was the perfect demonstration of God’s power in Him. It was his weakness that made him relatable to the people he was preaching to. The only thing left was the spirit in him so people would not be looking to Paul, but that their “faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
How often do you feel weak? Like your testimony isn’t good enough? That you are not a good representation of Jesus to the world. When we make ourselves weak and allow Him to be strong in us, we show people the truth. That we don’t have to have it all together. That it is not about being strong or confident or having everything figured out. We point people to the spirit of God that works in us. That it is Him that works everything together for the good of those that love Him. Can we let ourselves to be weak and so allow the power of God to work in us?