1 Corinthians 2:8-9
Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.…
The "things" are the gospel in the wealth of its blessings, not only for another world, but also for this. The eye has seen much, the ear has heard much more than the eye has seen, the heart pictures creations more wonderful still; but such truths as the gospel declares belong to a higher world; they are the fruit of God's hidden wisdom, His deepest thought. They are thus of necessity a mystery to man. It never entered the heart of man that these things would come —
I. FROM THE SOURCE THEY DID — from God. Man's ideas of God, apart from revelation, sprang rather from his own heart than from the teaching of nature, and therefore to imagine our salvation would flow from the source it did was impossible. After man sinned he changed God into his own image and likeness. The gods of the heathen consequently were perfectly destitute of those properties from which the gospel blessings could flow. They were destitute of holiness — heathenism has its heroes, but it has no saints. They were destitute of love, and were notorious for their cruelty and their lack of tenderness.
II. IN THE WAY THEY DID. "As the heavens are higher than the earth," &c. The way God took to save the world — by the incarnation and death of Immanuel — was so strange, that no one could imagine or dared imagine it but Himself. Not only is it so great that man could not in his own strength discover it, but so great that, after being revealed, it baffles man to comprehend it. The gospel is so Divine a conception that it dazzles the wise of this world into blindness. God's smallest thoughts, His thoughts in nature, perplex man. What then about the thought He conceived in the silence and solitude of eternity?
III. TO THE DEGREE THEY DID. Paul considered the fact that Christ was preached to the Gentiles a sufficiently great mystery to be put side by side with the Incarnation. Sin makes man selfish. The Romans deemed all others enemies, to be vanquished and made slaves; and once made slaves, they were of less value in their eyes than the beasts which perish. The Greeks judged all others barbarians, who ought to be robbed and slain. The Jews likewise were animated by the spirit of exclusiveness — they deemed all others unclean and worthless. Though our advantages are numerous and important, yet this truth is not properly understood by many in our day. All are not willing, even in this age, that the dew of God's blessing should fall outside their little garden. The old objections are being revived, that to attempt to evangelise the heathen is sheer waste. Such blind fatuity! The man who would try to stop the clouds to rain and the sun to shine outside the fences of his tiny farm would be looked upon as a lunatic. But his conduct were wisdom itself compared with that of those who in the vanity of their speculations would leave certain races outside the pale of civilisation and salvation. God's provision for the world is worthy of the high source whence it emanated, and the strange instrumentality whereby it was brought about, at once worthy of the infinite love and the precious sacrifice. To provide for only one nation would not be worthy of Him. Indeed, to provide sparingly for even the whole world would not be according to His custom — plenteousness characterises all His acts. With such fulness of grace in store, no one, be he who and where he may, need be lost.
Parallel VersesKJV: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.