Wednesday 08 May 2019

Bible Book:
1 Corinthians

Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. (vs. 1-2)

1 Corinthians 4:1-5 Wednesday 8 May 2019

Psalm: Psalm 123


The Christian community in Corinth must have found these words of Paul completely counter-cultural and almost inexplicable. In Corinthian society, intellectual prowess was held in high esteem; those articulate in philosophical debate and with rhetorical skills were greatly to be admired and emulated. Some of the religions in the city had features similar to the new Christian faith. In both Egyptian and Greek traditions, for example, there were stories of god-like figures who died and who came back to life. These religions had a degree of mystery about them, whereby those ‘in the know’ held power over those who did not know, that particular kind of power which the initiated have over the uninitiated!

However, Paul did not see himself like that; quite the contrary, in fact (2:1, 4). He was saying something entirely different – those who know are the servants, the enablers, of those who do not yet know. It seems clear that some were questioning Paul’s right to teach and to council them – he did not appear as a very authoritative figure (2:3) and what he was saying seemed so different in nature to what they were accustomed (2:2).

However, Paul was not concerned whether or not he is being judged by the standards of the Corinthian world; he was a steward of God’s mysteries. His readers would have absolutely appreciated that the chief characteristic of a steward was trustworthiness, the ability to account for the things in his charge.

Paul uses this familiar image to indicate his own trustworthiness with the message of the Gospel. Of his faithfulness to that task, God would be the judge.

Perhaps one of the characteristics of the twenty-first century is cynicism, the perceived need to question things, the suspicion that what we hear is ‘fake news’ and without foundation. But, as an old hymn says, "How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent word!"


To Ponder: 

  • How easy do you find it to accept new ideas, new ways of looking at things?
  • Think of a time when you were overly cynical about something you were told – how did you feel when it turned out to be true?
  • How do you measure stewardship of faith, values, ethos? Or can this really be done?
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