Day 4 Read: Acts 17:16-21
Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. 19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.
Reflect: Why was Paul’s heart disturbed by the cultural climate of Athens (v. 16)?
Consider: The Areopagus was a rocky eminence, ascended by a flight of stone steps cut in the solid rock, on the summit of which were seats in the open air, where the judges, called Areopagites, held court for the trial of criminals, and of grave religious questions. The informal character of the proceedings on this occasion shows that it was not this court which had summoned Paul, but that those who were interested in hearing him selected this as a suitable place for the purpose. This is further evident from the note of explanation here appended by Luke, that the Athenians and strangers dwelling there, spent their time in nothing else than telling and hearing something new. It was more from curiosity, therefore, that they desired to hear him, than because they really expected to be benefited by what they would hear.4
Respond: What kind of “gods” are there in our culture? What gods do you have in your life? Identify them and confess them to God and ask for his strength to remove them from your life.
4 John William McGarvey, A Commentary on Acts of Apostles (Lexington, KY: Transylvania Printing and Publishing Co., 1872), 219.