“Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God.” (1 Corinthians 3:18-19)
There are two ways we can fall into the trap of self-deception; one, listening to the word of God without putting it into practice and two, thinking we are wise following worldly standards. What does it mean to be wise in this age?
The best explanation for the wisdom of this age is what plays out in today’s Gospel passage. Jesus asked Simon Peter to put out his nets into the deep for a catch and Peter responded: “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing!” Peter was speaking with the wisdom of this age; scientific knowledge or what we know as common experience or book knowledge. Peter’s response was purely worldly and without regards to the Power of God.
There are times we actually “forget” who Jesus is. There are times we start operating based on the wisdom of the world and then, we begin to underestimate the power of God. Peter’s faith experienced a constant rise and fall and each time he fell, Jesus picked him up. He had the faith to walk on water but soon dropped to worldly wisdom, he started being careful on water and almost drowned.
From Peter’s experience, it becomes clear that there is a need for us to constantly examine ourselves. What kind of wisdom am I operating with right now? Is this decision I am about to take fuelled by worldly wisdom? Is there an element of Faith in what I am about to do? Could it be the case that Jesus is telling me to throw my nets for a catch and I am protesting strongly against the move based on what I already know about fishing?
Another way we see the wisdom of the world at work is in our inability to recognize God working within human beings. By the time we begin to idolize certain men and women of God as though what they are doing is by their power, we are actually being blind to spiritual realities. It takes truly spiritual eyes to see that neither Paul nor Apollos is a god; that Paul’s ability to preach is not by his personal making; that Apollos’ ability to work miracles is not because of his physical qualities. It takes spiritual eyes to see that God can use anybody.
Let us pray: O Jesus, give me the grace to grow deeper in the spirit. Amen.
Bible Study: 1st Corinthians 3:18-23, Psalm 24:1-6, and Luke 5:1-11).