Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Advent Archive: Acts 17
I can just imagine how Paul felt as he walked through Athens the first time. He would have seen countless statues of gods the people worshipped. They had gods for the sun, the water, love, and the roads; they had gods for everything. In fact, they were so worried they might have missed one, that they even made an altar to "the unknown god." Undoubtedly, this would have made Paul grieve for the state of the people and perhaps even a little angry that Jehovah God, Creator of the universe, was being reduced to an unknown. But what an example Paul becomes to us; he doesn't just remain sad and leave, he boldly goes to the gathering place of the city where all the people are and preaches Christ. He doesn't cram hell-fire and brimstone down their throats, but he also doesn’t leave them in their ignorance. He knows they are reasoners, and so he carefully presents the gospel in a simple, well-reasoned way. His words are fitly chosen and stir my heart each time I read them. Read verses 24 through 31 again and picture yourself in front of all those Greek philosophers. May God grant each of us the boldness that Paul had.
Food For Thought: What do you think the reaction of the Athenians would have been if Paul had come with a fiery, condemning message? What does this tell us about the necessity of variance in our own gospel presentation?