Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Not many were wise. Not many were powerful or noble. The apostle Paul here essentially states the obvious. There are relatively few outstandingly wise, powerful or noble people in the world. It's a minority, and we shouldn't be surprised at that. The observation is a little like saying that only five percent of people fall into the top five percent of income earners.
Paul is calling the Corinthians to be conscious of who they are and what their standing might be. Some are wise. Some are not. Some are powerful. Others are not. Some are noble. Sadly, others are not. We don't idolize those who are poor, weak, and ignoble. We don't idolize anyone. But we need to be aware of who we are in Christ - heirs of all the riches of heaven. Compared to that, all your earthly riches won't accomplish anything. What if we have very little except a loving family? No matter how happy that loving family makes us, it is nothing compared to God's love in Christ. What of our family pedigree, or our lack of it? The greatest family in the world can't compare with the family of God. And the least of us, through faith in Christ, is adopted into God's family.
One of the criticisms made of the early Christians was based on the fact that some of their bishops and elders were also slaves. It was considered culturally inappropriate for a free person to take orders from a slave. However, when the slave is the bishop and the emperor is not, the emperor takes orders from the slave, in spiritual matters at least.
God has raised up in His Church an amazingly varied mix of people. Rich and poor, intelligent and unintelligent, good at this, good at that, all with different types of gifts and abilities. In 1 Corinthians 1 Paul calls the congregation to remember their place, their role, the way they can best serve in Christ's kingdom. All together, as those adopted by Jesus, we love and serve our neighbors, using the gifts He has given us.
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