We are fools for Christ's sake
They were so in the esteem of men, for their close attach merit to a crucified Christ; and for preaching the doctrine of salvation by him; and for enduring so much reproach, affliction, and persecution, for his sake and the Gospel's:
but ye are wise in Christ.
This is ironically said; for his meaning is not that they were truly wise in Christ, in the knowledge and faith of him, in preaching his Gospel, or professing his name; but they were so in their own eyes, and made use of much worldly wisdom and carnal policy in their profession of religion. Their ministers took care to preach, and they to profess Christ, in such a manner as to retain the favour of the world, and to escape reproach and persecution.
We are weak;
in your account; our bodily presence is weak, and speech contemptible; we are men of mean capacities and abilities; nor are we able to express ourselves in that strong and masculine way, with those masterly strokes of eloquence and oratory your ministers do; or we are pressed down with infirmities, and afflictions, and persecutions.
But ye are strong;
your ministers are men of great parts, strong voice, masculine language, and powerful oratory; and you abound in outward prosperity, and are free from persecution for the cross of Christ.
Ye are honourable;
high in the favour and esteem of men for your wisdom and learning, your riches and wealth, power and grandeur.
But we are despised;
are in dishonour and disgrace, for the mean appearance we make, the Gospel we preach, and the cross we bear.