Spectacle to Creation
For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men.
– 1 Corinthians 4:9
We, as Christians, rightly honor the saints of old—one of those being the Apostle Paul. We know he was godly, we know he was wise, and we know he was used by God in mighty ways. But to the men around him who were not believers, he was a complete and total failure of a man.
He had been a prestigious Pharisee, likely on track to become one of the high council. He was zealous and knowledgeable and learned. But when Jesus arrested him on the road, his prestigious resume was set aside for the superior worth of serving God as an ambassador in chains.
The church frequently assigns success to those who have never been in chains for the faith and have no enemies in the faith. But the world is not impressed with that. The world is amazed at the church who is willingly made a spectacle. They wonder at how this group of misfits and ill-begottens could be unified.
And so, the spectacle of folks who have given up the world for the sake of the world-maker is a stumbling block and foolishness to the world. They do not think we are wise because they think wisdom is found in themselves. They do not think we are humble; they think we are idiots. But God has chosen to make Himself known to the world in this strange way so that He alone gets the glory when people forsake the wisdom of the world for the wisdom of Christ.