1 Corinthians 4:9–10 (KJV 1900)
9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.
The Corinthians are living a pretty good life in the church. In verse 8, Paul, sarcastically, praised them for living rich and reigning as “kings.” He continues his contrast of the high living of the Corinthians and the suffering of the apostles.
The apostles didn’t rest on their laurels. God hath set forth us the apostles as last; The apostles were not elevated on a pedestal. They were not reigning as kings; they were not rich; they were last. Pastors should think of themselves in this light, get out of the limelight, and teach the word of God with humility.
The apostles were condemned to death. They knew the road they were on. They were doomed to death. They were not setting up their lives for retirement so they could live the good life. Their life was one of suffering. The world would look at them as a spectacle. Today some pastors like to make a spectacle or themselves, but it is to build their ego and pride.
The apostles were a spectacle of fools for Christ’s sake. The world, the angels, and men looked at them how these men could only preach one message; the cross (1:18).
Paul continues with his rebuke of the Corinthians and their high living, and he continues to do it with sarcasm:
We are fools. You are wise.
We are weak. You are strong.
You are distinguished. We are dishonored.