We join Paul in Athens. He was taken there after his life was in danger again in Berea. Silas and Timothy remained behind to continue building the new body of believers.
The first thing that I see when reading this passage is that city was ripe for spiritual warfare. This city was full of idols and idol worshipers BUT there was still a presence of God fearing Jews and devout Gentiles. These men and women lived and worked in the center of all the pagan god worshipers.
Paul was ever ready to engage in confronting others with the gospel. We are told that “he reasoned in the synagogue with the hews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there” (verse 17). Paul was not shy about sharing anywhere he was. He was still as bold that day as he was when he first met Jesus.
Those who lived in Athens LOVED hearing about the “newest thing.” They were always in search of something new to entertain them. So when Paul came proclaiming Jesus’ name they wanted to know more about Him.
Paul’s arguments in the marketplace were not what persuaded them to learn more from him. In fact they thought of Paul as a “babbler.” My bible helps tell me that the meaning of this word is ‘someone who picks up seeds”; in essence saying that he picks up ideas and then goes on about the idea without first understanding the topic in itself.
The Holy Spirit was able to use the citizen’s search for the newest thing and Paul’s desire to share Jesus wherever he went to His advantage. Paul was ushered into the house of their highest god to discuss this “new thing” he was sharing. That is one of the things He specializes in.
Father God, thank You that You don’t have to destroy me and remake me to be of any use to You. You use me just as I am, warts and all. Sometimes the “warts” make the message go across even easier for the other to receive. “If God can love and work in someone like that, there is hope for me too.” Help me always to shine Your love through. I want others to see You first. Help me be bold like Paul. Unashamed to share with anyone willing to listen. That describes my dad in a nut shell!