We are fools for Christ’s sake: Not just on April 1

This morning as I completed my Bible reading for the day, I read the account of David who was being pursued by King Saul who was seeking to kill him. As he escaped, David encountered King Achish of Gath, the leader of the Philistines whom David had previously defeated when he killed Goliath. When  David realized he was in enemy territory, he “pretended to be insane, scratching on doors and drooling down his beard.” King Achish responded, “Must you bring me a madman? We already have enough of them around here. Why should I let someone like this be my guest?” ( 1 Samuel 19:12-15 NLT). Most remarkably, King David escapes from the clutches of the enemy by “playing the fool.”

This passage reminds me of a previous blog entry which I revised and reposted on April Fool’s Day, 2023.

The story is told of a man who wore a sandwich board in New York City as he walked the streets. On the front written in bold letters was this statement:  “I’m a fool for Christ’s  sake!”  People passed and chuckled or snickered, but they changed their expressions when they turned around to read the back of the sign which asked,  “Whose fool are you?”

This story brings to mind the words of the Apostle Paul who reminds believers: “We are fools for Christ’s sake.”

The lyrics to the chorus of the popular song “Everybody Plays the Fool” also remind us of this truth:

Everybody plays the fool sometime

There’s no exception to the rule

Listen, baby, it may be factual, may be cruel

I ain’t lyin’, everybody plays the fool

Since everybody plays the fool sometime in life and in love, many of us have decided that, like the gentleman in New York, we will be fools  for Christ’s sake, since the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men,” so say the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 1:25).

As the weeks unfold leading up to the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we encounter a situation that contrasts the ways of men who purport themselves to be wise, and the ways of God who uses foolishness to confound the wise:

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. For it is written:  “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

The whole idea of being a “fool for Christ’s sake” on April Fool’s Day reminds me of this poetic portrait written in the form a “mad song”:

My Mad Song

We are fools for Christ’s sake,

but you are wise in Christ!

We are weak, but ye are strong!

You are distinguished, but we are dishonored.

I Corinthians 4:10

I am stark raving mad as a gitsy;

I am insane and crazy as a loon.

Though my voice is stronger,

My lyrics are wronger.

My mad song is plainly out of tune

(But all the while I smile).

I am a rare and bizarre exception

Who loves to laugh out loud and cry.

My mind borders hysterical

Each day I see a miracle.

I live on earth with my home in the sky

(And all the while I smile).

I make my point with certainty–

Another fact that clearly shows

That I am deceived or naiver,

With the mind of a child, a believer

Who knows that he knows that he knows

(Why all the while I smile).

So I still dream my dreams and live

My life in such a simple style.

The world wants to eat me for supper,

But I just laugh and keep the upper

Hand and keep walking mile by mile

(As all the while I smile).

They call me kook, fanatic, and fool

Because of my peculiar knack.

Some folks think me still odder

Because I talk with God, my Father,                                

And furthermore, yes, He talks back

(And all the while I smile).

All of this is food for thought on April Fool’s Day, 2023.

Helen Yousaf closes this music reminder: “Fools for Christ”:

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3 Responses to “We are fools for Christ’s sake: Not just on April 1”

  1. wilkersonj59gmailcom Says:

    Wonderful message Dr. J

  2. R.H. (Rusty) Foerger Says:

    Excellent, let us then be fools for Christ.

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