S (Scripture): 1 Corinthians 2:3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and with much trembling. 4 My conversation and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not be based on human wisdom but on the power of God.
O (Observation): Paul is telling the church in Corinth that his “street cred” was not from his intellect, but from a demonstration of the Spirit of God. Had he convinced these new followers with intellect, then perhaps being a disciple could come down to simply intellectual assent and agreement with Paul. This is not what Paul wants for followers of Christ. The Spirit is to call them…
Just like in the resurrection experience of the two Mary’s at the tomb in Matthew 28. Matthew 28 describes this episode of an earthquake and an angel appearing like a flash of lightning, with the empty tomb. The two Mary’s are witness to the fact that Jesus is no longer in the tomb. They can try to explain this all to the disciples, but instead they run to the disciples and say, “Come and see!” They can try to explain it, but they must see for themselves. And once they “come and see,” the two Mary’s (and indeed, you and I) are called upon to “Go and Tell!”
A (Application): I was listening to the Rob Bell podcast yesterday (Episode 10, I believe). He talks about the experience of trying to describe a song. You can compare it all you want to other songs or musicians, but until that person hears the song for themselves, they won’t fully understand the sound of that song. Experiencing a song lies beyond the realm of intellect. You have to “feel” it, experience it.
Becoming a follower of Christ is not just listening to a description of Jesus being fully God and fully human. A follower does not simply recite a Creed in order to fully understand the life of a disciple. Becoming a follower of Christ lies beyond the realm of intellect. Paul knows this, and chooses instead to let the Spirit do it’s thing in order to create and sustain the church in Corinth.
Martin Luther, in The Small Catechism, explains what we believe the Spirit is up to when we recite the words of third article of the Creed:
I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.
Only the Spirit can move us to believe. And as such, I cannot know exactly who believes and who doesn’t.
My job is to “come and see” and then “go and tell,” just like the two Mary’s at the tomb in Matthew 28, just like Paul to the church in Corinth.
We are God’s hands and feet, but the Spirit leads the way.
P (Prayer): Lord, help us to “come and see,” and then “go and tell,” so that your mighty works may be made known through us. Amen.