Today’s passage: Acts 17:16-34
- Even while Paul’s heart was being gripped by the rampant idolatry, he still went first to the Jews. They were the ones who would first understand what he was preaching.
- Epicureans were materialists and taught that man was at his best in avoiding any and all pain. They believed death brought annihilation, that we would cease to exist entirely. Stoics sought to achieve a state where they were above pleasure and pain.
- The initial request for Paul to speak was not because of a desire for conversion…it was simply a form of entertainment for them. But, Paul didn’t mind. And opportunity was an opportunity.
- The only God who was not created by the imaginations of man has no need of man for his well-being. We need Him. We answer to Him.
Questions to consider:
- In what way would Paul’s use of Greek poets have been helpful? Was he using those things to prove God existed or to show the people they already had a base understanding of that God was real, even though they didn’t know Him? Or both?
- Did Paul desire to simply prove to these people that the “Unknown God” could be known? What did he tell them they needed to do? (Verse 30)
- What was the result of this explanation and invitation? How is it similar to other instances we have read so far? How is it similar to what we should expect today? Should the potential for varied responses prevent us from presenting the truth?