Thursday, May 07, 2009

Anaotomy of The Apostolic Body

I just read somewhere a question as to why Christ would choose Paul as an apostle, being an educated upper crust Hebrew, when the others were uneducated smelly fishermen and tax collectors. This is a good question, one for which I have an opinion.

"...but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong." 1 Corinthians 1:27

In Israel at the time of Christ, religious success was attained by the educated religious leaders. They controlled the religion of the Jews to a large degree. They set up the traditions and rules of men and the common people followed. Much of it was contrary to God's idea of righteousness. Uneducated men would be the perfect tools of God to confound the haughty leaders, but under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who was a better teacher than all the teachers of Israel. When the common people saw what their peers did, it was easier for them to identify and to side with God.

Paul on the other hand, was an apostle to the Gentiles. They did not have God's law, not being Jews. What better tool of God than somebody who knew God's requirements for life in intimate detail. A Hebrew who was connected to the core of God's revelation in his law. Paul's task was to translate the Hebrew Scriptures into a language that theologically ignorant Gentile Christians could understand. The other apostles weren't initially as qualified as Paul for this task. His epistles are littered with OT quotes. The simplistic message of the cross and resurrection would confound the wisdom of Greek philosophy.

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