Acts 17: 16 So Paul found himself alone for some time in Athens. He would walk through the city, feeling deeply frustrated about the abundance of idols there. 17 As in the previous cities, he went to the synagogue. Once again, he engaged in debate about Jesus with both ethnic Jews and devout Greek-born converts to Judaism. He would even wander around in the marketplace, speaking with anyone he happened to meet.
Paul had escaped from the mob both in Thessalonica and Berea. Now he was by himself in Athens. Athens of that time is known for its idols. One comment was that there were more idols than people in the city. This disturbs Paul who knows the one true God. But I find Paul’s ability to stay engaged in the mission remarkable.
Think about it, Paul has been obedient to share the Good News of Jesus. But it has consistently gotten him into trouble. On this trip alone, he has been imprisoned, and the target of mob action twice. If it hadn’t been for the help of other believers, Paul most likely would have been murdered. Now he is safe, but in an extremely pagan place. If I had been Paul, I probably would have been having a pity party. But we don’t see Paul doing that at all.
Paul stays engaged in the mission. He follows his pattern of first going to the synagogue to point out to fellow Jews how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Messiah. He also preached to the Gentiles in the marketplace. Paul, even though he is all alone, continues to tell anyone who will listen about Jesus.
We may get frustrated at how anti-Christian our culture has become. Often, we complain, at least I know I am guilty of this. But, what would happen if instead of complaining, we would stay engaged in the mission? I’m sure the Holy Spirit was working through Paul during his time in Athens. We have the same power within us as we believe and follow Jesus today. Paul would later write to the Romans (and to us): Rom.15:13 Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!
To hear more about Paul, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/series/mission-trip-two-radio-show/the-battle-for-souls
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