The Power of Paradox

by Herschel on February 26, 2013


The Nativity by Jacob Jordaens

At Christmas time, I think about God’s paradoxical intention in which He chose to be incarnated as a helpless baby. Randy Pope once preached a sermon series entitled, “Worlds Turned Upside Down,” which told how Jesus’ coming radically changed people’s lives (and still does).  His coming challenges the status quo by confronting us with several paradoxes.  If we understand these paradoxes and live in light of them, they can empower us.  Songwriter Michael Card once wrote, “The power of paradox opens our eyes and blinds those who say they can see.”  The Bible defies human logic with statements like, “The last will be first, and the first will be last” (Matt. 20:16); “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it” (Matt. 16:25); “Give and it shall be given unto you,” (Luke 6:38), and “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). 

One of the key biblical paradoxes is that true power is revealed by our willingness to be vulnerable and take risks.  We think people who seek control are powerful, but typically, they are very insecure.  We think we must always be right to gain respect, but as we admit our shortcomings, people generally admire us more.

Christians must be willing to be vulnerable to make the greatest impact for God’s kingdom.  Jesus knew He’d be rejected, yet He came because of His great love for us.  The Almighty chose to become most vulnerable.  He showed us the heart of God but was rejected. Stock investors know that great risks must be taken to make great gains.  God wants us to be willing to take risks in our relationships to see great fruit produced for His kingdom.  If we are truly secure in the power of God, we’ll be willing to be vulnerable and reach out to others.

During this Advent Season, remember that Jesus, the most powerful person in the universe, was willing to be vulnerable to bring us the gospel, and then take a risk to do the same for others.


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