Did God purposely make the rulers unable to understand?


Praise the Lord.

In I Corinthians 2: 7-8, it says, "No, we declare God's wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."

Lord Jesus Christ is sent to die for our sins so that we will be saved. This is the plan of the Father since the beginning. And Paul said none of the rulers of the world understood so that's why they crucified Lord Jesus.

Does that mean God intentionally made the rulers not understand this so that the crucifixion would happen and all would be saved? If yes, are they held guilty of killing the innocent Lord Jesus? If not, are they ignorant or did they choose not to believe it in spite of many prophets and preachers preaching about it?

The same can be applied to the prophecy that Judas will betray Lord Jesus. Was it because of the prophecy that was made that he betrayed Jesus, or was it because he would betray Jesus that the prophets prophecied? Is Judas in heaven or hell?

How do we understand these kinds of things in the Bible?

Hypothetically if the rulers understood it and loved God and Lord Jesus. They would still have to crucify him for only through his death could we will receive life. Who will be held accountable in situations like this?

Thank you.


Back in I Corinthians 1:18-25, Paul discusses the greatness of God's wisdom. God gave one message that brought about two conflicting responses. One group sees the gospel as foolishness while to another it is the power of God (Romans 1:16). The difference is not in the message but in those listening. The division is created between the perishing and the saved (II Corinthians 2:15-16).

God chose this means of bringing salvation to confound those who think they are wise (Isaiah 29:14). On the surface, it would appear to men that God’s method of delivery is weak. It depends on men convincing other men about the importance of Christ being crucified for the sins of men. God doesn’t do things the way men think they ought to be done. He brings judgment on men in ways they don’t expect.

Paul asks a series of questions that allude in a general way back to Isaiah 33:18. In that passage, God challenges the Assyrians who had planned out their assault on Jerusalem. Despite all the planning, Sennacherib was sent fleeing in terror when God wiped out a great portion of his army in one night. Paul is hinting that God is doing it again with the gospel message. People think they are so clever, yet time and again God manages to make them look foolish. The wise men, those who have deep knowledge of the law (the scribes), and those who spend time in philosophy (the debaters) all are made to look foolish. Each sets themselves up in some fashion to bring down God’s truth and always fail (II Corinthians 10:3-6).

Because men, through their concept of wisdom, do not arrive at a knowledge of God (John 1:10; Romans 1:20-21), God was pleased to select a method that appears foolish to men to save men through belief (Luke 10:21). The reason men reject God’s teaching is that it isn’t what they were expecting. Jews tend to demand miraculous signs, though even when signs were shown, they rejected them because they did not point to what they wanted to believe (Matthew 12:38; 16:1; Luke 11:16; 12:54-56). The Greeks tend to demand deep philosophy (Acts 17:21). While deep discourse does exist in the gospel message, these too are rejected because they do not match what the philosophers demand (Acts 17:32). But what God gives men is a message concerning a crucified Savior. To Jews, this was a stumbling block because they refused to accept Jesus as their Savior (Isaiah 8:14-15; Matthew 21:42). To the Greeks, this was foolishness because this isn’t how they imagined the world could be saved.

Yet to people who respond to the message, Jews and Greeks alike, the Gospel is seen as the power of God (Romans 1:16). One message brings a division between the worldly and the spiritual, thus demonstrating the wisdom of God. In other words, Paul is stating that what both the Jews and Greeks were seeking is found by believers to exist in the Gospel message. What appears to be foolishness to men instead demonstrates the wisdom of God’s method. What appears to men to be weak instead demonstrates God’s power to save men (II Corinthians 13:4).

Jumping to I Corinthians 2:6-10, Paul said that this wisdom found in the gospel message was not from this particular era or from leading men of this age. Neither of these will last. This wisdom comes from God and has been hidden from people in the past. Paul is not claiming that he or the prophets of old were preaching in a mysterious fashion or in some fashion that purposely hid God’s message from people. He is only referring to the fact that God keeps parts of His plan hidden until the proper time (Romans 16:25-26; Ephesians 3:1-10; Colossians 1:26; I Timothy 3:16). But God’s purpose had been laid out before time began. This isn’t a last-minute thought or a passing fad. It wasn’t built upon things in this world since it was planned before the world began. No one can claim that the leading men in the world shaped it because they didn’t even realize it existed. If they had, they would not have crucified the Christ (Acts 3:17). It is not that they could not have known. The evidence was right before them (John 5:36; 10:25), but they were not willing to accept what they saw.

The wisdom which God has revealed to His people could not have been invented by men. Referring to Isaiah 64:4 Paul points out that it wasn’t something seen before, heard before, or even thought about in the past. But God prepared these very things for the people He loved. The context of the quote, Isaiah 64:1-9, shows that what was longed for was a revelation of God's method for saving people from their sins. We are privileged to know these things because God has shown them to us through the work of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 16:13-14). The Spirit of God understands all these things because He has access to the depths of God’s mind, just as the spirit of a man knows his innermost thoughts (Proverbs 14:10; 20:27; 27:19).

Therefore, God did have to make anyone ignorant. He simply recorded His plan in a way that people would ignore or reject in advance of it happening. Then when it did happen, they would look back and realize what they missed. Thus, those who killed the Christ are still responsible for their actions because no one made them take those actions. They chose them because God knows the motivations of people better than people themselves understand.

Regarding Judas, see If Jesus knew Judas would betray him, why did Jesus have him around?

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