What Does It Really Mean to Be a “Fool” for Yeshua?
When it comes to being a “fool” for Yeshua, we need to ask ourselves some questions to more fully understand what’s behind such a radical concept. These questions included: Why were you born? What is you purpose in life? Why did YHVH Elohim, the Creator of all things, make you in his image? These are serious questions that few people pause long enough from the frenetic lives to which they are enslaved to ponder. Most people are so occupied living their daily routines, pursuing their dreams or just trying to survive that they never take the logical next step—a giant leap for many folks—and ask themselves these hard questions. The biblical answers to these questions is simple. You were created with in divine destiny. That is to replicate Elohim on this earth and to help expand his kingdom here below. Do you have an inner sense of this divine mission deep in your heart and mind? Sadly, most people do not. Acquiring this understanding, no, this passion, is a key to confronting the tidal wave of evil that is presently enveloping the globe as it endeavors to snuff out the last vestiges of light and Truth.
A Historical Overview
Back at the beginning in the book of Genesis in the garden, YHVH gave the first humans some marching orders which were instrumental in expanding his kingdom on earth. Critical to establishing the kingdom of Elohim was his command for man to get married and to procreate—to replicate himself (Gen 1:28; 2:24). Marriage and family is an essential building block of YHVH’s kingdom and to expanding it. Next, Elohim instructed the first man to make a home for his family and to have pets, that is, to tend and keep the garden and to take care of the animals in it (Gen 1:28; 2:15, 19). After that, YHVH instructed man to walk in his paths of righteousness by not eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge and by communing with his Creator on a personal level (Gen 2:17; 3:8). The weekly seventh day Sabbath, a day of physical rest, spiritual regeneration and relationship building, was instrumental in YHVH’s kingdom building plans as well (Gen 2:1–3). All of these instructions are fundamental to YHVH replicating his kingdom and government on this earth. But there’s more.
Not all families would teach their children and grandchildren the ways of Elohim. Down through the ages, many humans would be born into spiritual darkness and raise their children in it as well. This is because YHVH created humans to have the freedom to choose to follow him or not. Most have chosen the latter.
To remedy this problem YHVH plucked a man called Abraham out of the spiritual darkness of ancient Babylonia and gave him the light of his Truth. He then gave Abraham many righteous offspring who were commissioned to take the light of that Truth to the nations of the world (Deut 4:5–8; Isa 49:6 cp. 60:1–3). This nation was called Israel, and YHVH placed that nation smack dab in the land of Canaan,which is geographically and strategically located where the trading routes of three continents all meet—Africa, Europe and Asia. Sadly, the nation of Israel failed in their divine-mandated evangelistic mission to spread the good news of the kingdom of Elohim to the surrounding nations. Elohim knew this would happen because he knows that humans are weak and sinful, so now he fell back on his main plan to evangelize the world—to send his only begotten Son to complete the mission.
Because humans failed in their mission to spread the good news of Elohim’s kingdom to their children, friends and neighbors and to the world, out of deep love for humanity, Elohim sent his only Son, Yeshua the Messiah, to raise up followers who, with the inner dynamo of his Set-Apart Spirit, would fulfill the mission that Adam and the descendants of Abraham failed to do.
In preparation for the advent of the Messiah, YHVH sent John the Immerser to preach the message of “Repent [from sin] for the kingdom of Elohim is at hand” (Matt 3:2). This gospel of the repenting of sin or lawlessness (i.e. Torahlessness, see 1 John 3:4) and coming under the rule of the kingdom of Elohim is the same message that Yeshua the Messiah preached (Matt 4:17, 23; Mark 1:15), and that he commissioned his disciples (then and now) to preach as well (Matt 10:7). This message of the kingdom of Elohim is the essence of Yeshua’s Great Commission command to his disciples to preach the gospel to all nations (Matt 28:18–20; Mark 16:15–18). To fulfill this commission was Yeshua’s last command to his disciples before he ascended to heaven (Acts 1:8), and that command still stands to this day and applies to all disciples of Yeshua including you and me. These were last marching orders of the saints’ Commander and Chief, the Captain of Our Salvation before he left this earth, and these orders still stand!
At the same time, the demonic spirit of Antichrist is in direct opposition to the advancement of the YHVH’s kingdom on this earth. Satan the opposer and adversary to Elohim and his kingdom has been at his game from the beginning, since he manifested himself as a snake in a tree in the garden to oppose the will and commands of the Creator. This is why these evil forces are so opposed to marriage, family, the people of Israel, Yeshua the Messiah and the Bible and its followers. This is because Satan is the god of this world, and he is the ruler of all of its kingdoms. He knows that his time is short, that his gig as the ruler of this world is almost up, and that Yeshua the Messiah is about to return to destroy his kingdom—called Babylon the Great—and to capture and imprison him for eternity. Until then, Satan is pulling out all of the stops to prevent the kingdom of Elohim and its King—Yeshua the Messiah and his followers—from replacing him.
Enter the Great Commission
So where does that leave you and me in this cosmic struggle between good and evil, between the kingdom of Elohim and the kingdom of Satan? What is our divine mandate as obedient disciples of Yeshua?
On the table before us is the last set of orders that Yeshua, or Commander and Chief, the Captain of our salvation handed down to us.
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15)
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8).
Yes, spreading the good news or gospel message of repentance from sin and the arrival of Elohim’s kingdom through sharing this message with others is the means by which the Creator determined to advance his kingdom, and the followers of Yeshua are the human agents by which this is to occur. Like it or not, this is heaven’s mandate for each of us, who call ourselves disciples of Yeshua.
To the world, preaching the gospel is foolishness and a foolish method to accomplish anything.
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 Elohim.… but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness… (1 Cor 1:18, 23)
In fact, now not only does the world consider the gospel to be foolishness, but in more and more venues it is now being considered to be “politically incorrect” and “hate speech.” Remember, this is Satan’s world, and he is making his final play to conquer it once and for all and to kill (figuratively or literally) all those who preach the kingdom of Elohim. Other people who oppose our sharing the gospel are not our enemies, for behind them is the demonic spirit of Antichrist, which is the real enemy. The people are just helpless, naive and ignorant puppet pawns of a greater, more sinister and evil power.
As opposers to this spirit of Antichrist, and as disciples of Yeshua, are we those who will cower in the corner in fear for what the world will think of us or do to us, or, like the early disciples of Yeshua, will we love the praises of Elohim more than the praises of men, and choose to obey Elohim rather than men and boldly proclaim the gospel wherever we go no matter what the world thinks?
So now the big question that is on the table before us: Are you willing to be a “fool” for Yeshua—that is, a fool in the world’s eyes, though a wise and profitable servant in YHVH Elohim’s eyes, and a servant who will be richly rewarded in the world to come for his faithfulness to fulfilling his Master’s marching orders to expand the kingdom of heaven through preaching? The great apostle Paul was willing to be a fool for Yeshua.
We are fools for the Messiah’s sake, but you are wise in the Messiah! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! (1 Cor 4:10)
In fact, Paul and those with him were so radical in fulfilling their divine mission to advance the kingdom of Elohim that they were willing to suffer enormous physical privation for it:
To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now. (1 Cor 4:11–13)
Look, I’m not telling anyone that they need to go to the extremes that Paul did to advance the kingdom of heaven unless YHVH calls you to do so. But consider this: Most of us are doing little or nothing to advance the kingdom to those around us. Fulfilling the great commission begins with baby steps, and little-by-little as we take those first steps to share the gospel with others, our faith and boldness to do so will grow. But first, we must determine to take those first steps, to be willing to become a “fool” (in the world’s eyes) for Yeshua.
Bible Verses on Being a Fool for Yeshua
So what does it really mean to be a “fool” of Yeshua and to engage in “foolishness” of preaching (or sharing) the gospel to those around us who may not want to hear it? Let’s now briefly examine the Bible verses that talk about this interesting and off-putting concept.
We are fools [Gk. moros] for the Messiah’s sake, but you are wise in the Messiah! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! (1 Cor 4:10)
For the message of the cross is foolishness [Gk. mōria] to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of Elohim. (1 Cor 1:18)
For since, in the wisdom of Elohim, the world through wisdom did not know Elohim, it pleased Elohim through the foolishness [Gk. mōria] of the message preached to save those who believe. (1 Cor 1:21)
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool [Gk. mōros] that he may become wise. (1 Cor 3:18)
Let’s now consider the meanings of the biblical Greek words in the verses above:
- Mōria: From root word mōros meaning “silliness, that is, absurdity, foolishness.”
- Mōros: meaning “dull or stupid (as if shut up), that is, heedless, (morally) blockhead, (apparently) absurd, fool, foolish, foolishness.”
- Our English word moron derives from these ancient Greek words. The dictionary definition of moron is “a stupid person: we can’t let these thoughtless morons get away with mindless vandalism every weekend.” The word moron originates from the Greek word mōron, which in its neuter form is mōros meaning “foolish”.
What Being a “Fool” for Yeshua Meant for the Biblical Saints
When Paul referred to himself as being a fool for Yeshua, what was behind this statement? Consider this: Paul, the learned Jewish elite Pharisee had to set all of his erudition and social status aside as rubbish or dung (Phil 3:58) to become a “fool” for Yeshua (1 Cor 3:10). Becoming a “fool” for Yeshua involved the “foolish” medium of preaching the gospel (1 Cor 1:18, 21) to people who didn’t necessarily want to hear this message. To preach the gospel, Paul had to put himself “out there” out beyond the safe walls of his personal comfort zone to share the gospel with people who may or may not have wanted to hear the message of repentance from sin and salvation. There was no for him to know way whether he would face rejection, ridicule, homeless, nakedness, starvation or persecution including arrest, beatings and other physical abuse or even imprisonment (1 Cor 3:11–12), or whether the his message would be accepted. Obviously, he was ahead of his time in embracing the current famous motto of “Just do it!”
When I say preaching, what does this really mean? How does the Bible define preaching? Get ready for this, for the meaning of preaching, according to the Bible, will probably make your inner self or soul (your mind, will and emotions) squirm uncomfortably just a bit. In the Tanakh or Hebrew Scriptures, preach is the verb kawraw meaning “to accost a person, call out, invite, to mention, (give) name, preach, proclaim, pronounce, publish, read or say.” As you see, kawraw has a wide range of meanings. The idea of accosting someone may be a bit off-putting, so, instead, wrap your mind around the idea of inviting someone to something or sharing some good news with someone. Whether you confrontational “accost” someone with the gospel or simply share it with them as if inviting a friend to join you at a social gathering or celebration, either way, you had to take the initiative to approach them without their permission and to share something with them that they were not expecting or may not even accept, and this takes a certain amount of boldness on one’s part. Preaching or sharing the gospel is not a popular activity among those who wear the label as disciples of Yeshua. Most of us have an aversion to doing this, right? This is because it’s not really socially acceptable, and because we naturally fear being rejected by others. Who doesn’t want to be popular and to be accepted? The question, however, should be, who do we really want to be accepted by: Elohim or man? Do we love the praises of men or the praise of Elohim more (John 12:43)?
Has the Great Commission Become the Great Omission?
In the Apostolic Scriptures or the Testimony of Yeshua, there are two Greek words for preach. The first one is keurusso meaning “to herald (as a public crier), especially divine truth (the gospel), proclaim, publish.” The second word is euaggelizō (pronounced yoo-ang-ghel-id’-zo) meaning “to announce good news (“evangelize”) especially the gospel, declare, bring (declare, show) glad (good) tidings, preach (the gospel).” Like the Hebrew word kawraw, these words involve approaching or “accosting” someone uninvited and without their permission and sharing with them something they may or may not want to hear. Again, for most of us, such an activity goes against societal norms, especially when it comes to religious subjects, and thus is something we tend to avoid. In other words, Yeshua’s Great Commission passage in Mark chapter 16 is one of those pages we tend to rip out of the Bible and tell ourselves doesn’t really apply to us. This is in direct contravention to Yeshua’s own instructions both in Mark 16:15 and elsewhere.
Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15)
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of Elohim. (Matthew 4:4 and Deut 8:3).
Let me give you an example of how unpopular the subject of sharing the gospel with those around us really is. Some years ago I made two videos on our Hoshana Rabbah YouTube channel on evangelism and how to share the gospel with those around you. We filmed this video on the beautiful Oregon coast, which is one of the most scenic coastlines in the world. For the first video the backdrop was a harbor full of fishing boats—a scene that resembled a quaint New England fishing village. In that video we talked about being fishers of men We filmed the second video at the base of a picturesque lighthouse overlooking the Pacific Ocean and we discussed what it meant to be a light to the world. These videos were a basic primer on why and how to share the gospel with those around us in order to fulfill the Great Commission. Out of the some 450 Bible teaching videos that I have made for our internet channel, these two videos win a blue ribbon for some of the least watched ones. To me, this is extremely revealing about how unpopular this subject is among Christians and, therefore, how few people are evangelizing the lost, even though to do so is a direct command from our Lord and Savior! Most of us don’t want to look like fools in front of others, so, for us, the Great Commission has become the Great Omission. Sadly it boils down to this: we love the praises of men more than the praises of Elohim.
For they [the Jewish religious leaders] loved the praise of men more than the praise of Elohim. (John 12:43)
Why Was Preaching Chosen as the Method of Spreading the Gospel?
Why was the “foolish” method of preaching YHVH’s method for sharing the gospel? First, because this is what Yeshua, who bought and paid for us with his blood and who know owns us, commanded us to do when he commissioned his disciples to take the gospel to the world Who are we to question him?
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:15–16)
Second, Yeshua called his disciples to become fishers of men in the seas of humanity. A fisherman has go out and to go after the fish; fish don’t just jump into your net or boat! Similarly, when we boldly “put ourselves out there” to preach or share the gospel with others as if we were fishing for fish. And when we do this guess what happens?
And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:16–18)
Becoming a fisherman for human fish doesn’t come naturally for us because of the reasons discussed above. We must pray for boldness to share or preach the gospel to those around us as the early disciples did when they were being threatened and persecuted for their faith in Yeshua.
Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Yeshua.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of Elohim with boldness. (Acts 4:29–31)
Let each of us pray and seek YHVH to shake us out of our complacency and fear of being a witness for him to those around us, and to give us so much love for the spiritually lost that we are more concerned for their spiritual lostness than we have fear of being rejected.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)
For Elohim has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Tim 1:7)
Preaching the gospel and message of the cross is foolishness to the world because Satan has inverted the Truth of Elohim and turned it into a lie as he blinds men’s minds from the light of YHVH. What the world considers to be good is evil, wisdom to be foolishness, darkness to be light. This is a satanic inversion of all that is godly and righteous, because the devil is a lying deceiver, who comes as an angel of light to kill the Truth of Elohim those who stand for it (as he did with Yeshua), to steal that which is good from men, and destroy anything or anyone that stands in his way.
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isa 5:4)
You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44)
And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. (2 Cor 11:14)
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
Preaching the gospel is foolishness to the spiritually lost because the world is sold out to sin and rebellion and men don’t want to be brought into accountability to Elohim the Righteous Judge because most humans love their sin and darkness and don’t want to change.
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. (John 3:19–19)
What Are We to Do?
So at the beginning of this piece, we opened with a discussion about the satanic armies of Antichrist advancing like a tsunami across this earth and enveloping it like a heavy blanket of evil darkness endeavoring to smother out all Truth. We asked the question, what should the saints do about it? The answer to the question is clearly evident. What do you do when you come into a totally dark room? Do you run and hide? Do you cower in fear? No. You simply turn on the light and guess what happens? The darkness immediately flees! Well, Yeshua is the Light of the world, and he commissioned his disciples to take the good news light of the Truth to the world. So what are you doing on a regular basis to share that light with others?
Stay tuned for Part Three of this series on being a fool for Yeshua as I share my own spiritual journey as it relates to this unpopular subject…
Ah, the conviction! They want the inheritance, not the responsibility!
Yes, and they want the Savior, not the Lord or Master.
Thank You. This is important especially now, and I am praying for boldness to follow through.