Scripture: Joshua 15-17, 1 Corinthians 8
1 Corinthians 8:11-12 And so this weak person, your brother for whom Christ died, will perish because of your “knowledge”!
My weak brother is a person for whom Christ died.
Paul is dealing with the issue of eating meat offered to idols. He clearly says that idols are nothing, and eating the meat won’t hurt you—some of the Corinthians know this. But others didn’t; they thought that by eating the meat, they were worshipping the idol. For these “weak persons” who lacked knowledge, seeing other Christians eating this sacrificial meat or doing it themselves suggested that Jesus wasn’t enough, that it was necessary to worship other gods as well, just to cover your bases! The stronger brother’s knowledge and his freedom (both correct) were causing his weaker brothers to “perish.”
Paul clarifies what is at stake: the eternal well-being of a person for whom Christ died. Remember that.
Sometimes I get frustrated with “weaker persons.” In my frustration, I want to write them off. Forget about them. Leave them behind. But Paul reminds me that Jesus died for that person. That is God’s value statement! I can’t devalue what God has highly valued.
Yesterday, I was in a conference that placed a great deal of emphasis on honor. Most of that honor flowed toward the top. Here (and elsewhere in Scripture), the honor flows down. The strong honor the weak. (The word “honor” refers to something’s value or price. To honor is to place a high value on someone or something.) Here, Paul encourages us to honor the weaker brother, to remember that person’s value: he is someone for whom Christ died.
The next time you’re frustrated with someone, take a deep breath and remind yourself: Jesus died for this person.
Prayer: Lord, remind me of this. I can get frustrated with others and want to write them off. Remind me of how much You value them.