Paul’s Footsteps #84

Footsteps #84

The banana spined dingos of Thessalonica, the jealous Jews, incited a fanatical riot, and attacked the house of Jason. Fortunately, Paul had received a timely warning and had concealed himself. So, the mob seized Jason and took him before the magistrates. At night Paul and his friends gathered their few possessions and stole through the silent and deserted streets, through the western gate towards Berea.  

Here the Jewish reception was surprising. And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.” NLT Acts 17:11). Their attitude was more fair-minded and they were willing to investigate the truthfulness of the doctrines preached by the apostles. They were praised not because they agreed with Paul and Silas, but because of their willingness to examine the scriptures for themselves on a daily basis and to see if what the missionaries were saying was correct. With an emotional response, the gospel tends to be superficial and short lived. When combined with an intellectual conviction one can build a strong faith. The result was that many Jews believed. News of this soon reached the Jews in Thessalonica, who came immediately – and so we find Paul again escaping into the darkness. This time he left behind Silas and Timothy to set in order the newly founded church. Paul went 20km to Dium and from there he sailed to Athens. (Acts 17:15) 

Athens was the metropolis of heathendom, the city of statues. As Paul wandered through its streets waiting for Silas and Timothy to catch up, he was stirred with jealousy for God. As he discussed with people in the market placed, the apostle of apostles soon met with paganism in its subtlest, alluring form. That of science, knowledge, and philosophy. Even today, people worship and serve the creation rather than the creator. It was in the market place of Athens that 4 centuries earlier the famous Socrates had adopted the same conversational method of instruction. Paul’s message soon attracted attention. 

They led him to a place called Areopagus – the place where Socrates had been forced to drink the cup of poison because of what he taught, and they warned Paul not to endanger his life in the same way. Here Paul could be heard without interruption. 

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