God’s Own Fool

So surrender the hunger to say you must know
Have the courage to say “I believe”
For the power of paradox opens your eyes
And blinds those who say they can see (Michael Card)

One of my favorite artists from the early days of Christian music is Michael Card. One of his songs, “God’s Own Fool” got him into a bit of hot water. Many people found the song offensive–they didn’t like the picture of Jesus the song portrayed. Personally, I liked it, and still do.

I mean, really, until you “get” the gospel, it is offensive. It’s so counter to the way we humans would order the world and our salvation and relationship to God if it was up to us. And we do spend a good bit of time and energy trying to make the world (and God) in our image, instead of conforming to His image. And more than our image of God, it messes with the pervasive “everyone can do what they want” mentality. At its heart, the message of salvation is  “you’re a sinner–you can’t approach God as you are, but Jesus can fix that” and most of us, at some level, and at some point in our lives, find that offensive.

For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.  1 Corinthians 1:25

What kind of fool knows that His beloved creation, now in such a state of disarray can’t stand to be in His presence–instead of condemning them to forever away from Him, makes a way to enter the throne room? What kind of foolish king, knowing his subjects can’t ever ever ever come up to His level of perfection, can’t pull themselves out of the mess they got themselves into–instead of destroying them, He sends down His Son to save them? And to save them, what kind of a foolish King, allows His perfect Son to die and take on all the sin of the world? He sent His Son to be destroyed, so sin and death would be destroyed, and we could walk boldly into the throne room of Heaven, not on our merit, but His.

“My thoughts are not your thoughts. Neither are His ways our ways.” Isaiah 55:8

Yep. It’s true. He’s God. We’re not. And what’s more, once Jesus did His work, we’re invited into this upside kingdom as well. And His call continues the “foolishness:”

To save your life, you have to lose it. (Luke 17:33)

You have to die to yourself to live forever.(Gal 2:20)

For those who hate you, persecute you, misrepresent you in the media, gossip about you, try to wipe you off the face of the earth–you have to love them and forgive them and pray for them. (Matthew 5:44-45)

To truly lead in the Kingdom of God, you have to serve–even washing the feet of those Jesus gave you authority over and sent you to lead. (John 13:12-17)

 None of this makes sense in the natural. It doesn’t make sense to those who don’t follow Jesus. And even to those who do follow Jesus, sometimes it doesn’t make any sense either. But it doesn’t have to make sense to be true. It may look like madness to those who have not decided to believe it and live it; and well, it can seem a bit mad to those who are walking along the Jesus Way at times. The key is to fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down by the right hand of the Father. (Hebrews 12:2)

Seems I’ve imagined Him all of my life
As the wisest of all of mankind
But if God’s Holy wisdom is foolish to men
He must have seemed out of His mind

For even His family said He was mad
And the priests said a demon’s to blame
But God in the form of this angry young man
Could not have seemed perfectly sane

When we in our foolishness thought we were wise
He played the fool and He opened our eyes
When we in our weakness believed we were strong
He became helpless to show we were wrong
And so we follow God’s own fool
For only the foolish can tell-
Believe the unbelievable
And come be a fool as well

So come lose your life for a carpenter’s son
For a madman who died for a dream
And you’ll have the faith His first followers had
And you’ll feel the weight of the beam
So surrender the hunger to say you must know
Have the courage to say I believe
For the power of paradox opens your eyes
And blinds those who say they can see


So we follow God’s own Fool
For only the foolish can tell
Believe the unbelievable,
And come be a fool as well


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