16 Paul was waiting for Silas and Timothy in Athens. He was very upset to see that the city was full of statues of gods. 17 So he went to the synagogue. There he talked both with Jews and with Greeks who worshiped God. Each day he spoke with anyone who happened to be in the market place. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic thinkers began to argue with him. Some of them asked, “What is this fellow chattering about?” Others said, “He seems to be telling us about gods we’ve never heard of.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus. He was telling them that Jesus had risen from the dead. 19 They took him to a meeting of the Areopagus. There they said to him, “What is this new teaching you’re giving us? 20 You have some strange ideas we’ve never heard before. We would like to know what they mean.” 21 All the people of Athens spent their time talking about and listening to the latest ideas. People from other lands who lived there did the same.
Verse 16 says that Paul was troubled by all the idols. Other translations say that he was angered, moved, stirred in his spirit.
Athens was a very worldly place and Paul would have known it. But he wasn’t able to just accept it as it was – he saw it through God’s eyes in that moment.
How often do I accept the world as it is rather than having my heart broken for the lost? How often do I leave people where they are in a kingdom of darkness rather than reaching out with Jesus?
Just the other day, someone who wouldn’t have known me as a Christian made a comment about their beliefs that humans weren’t made to stay in marital relationships for life. Instead of reaching out to them with the love of Christ and suggesting that true love is sacrificial and would give itself up for a spouse rather than moving on to someone new when convenience presented, I just accepted that they had a different perspective to me, so I shrugged and moved on.
Lord, help me to be bold in the way I live a life for Christ. Help me to listen to the stirrings of my heart when I see injustice.
Written by Ps Justin Ware