GOSPEL MEDITATION # 54
Paul Addresses the Areopagus
- Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
- Paul, standing now in the ancient forum where countless preachers and philosophers presented their views to an eager audience, here composed almost entirely of Gentiles.
- These people were either very religious or superstitious; thought is that Paul meant religious, not a derogatory word.
- Inscriptions with “To an Unknown God” have been found by archeologists. The Athenians, as most people now and then, want to “cover their bases.”
- Paul announces that, unlike most Graeco/Romans deities, was creator of all and a personal God, not a world-soul.
- He is not only creator, but sovereign, and sovereign of all including nations, places, and their times.
- Times of “ignorance” God overlooked (no one knows what this means), but now it is time to repent, meaning to change one’s mind about who God is, since the creator God desires that people seek Him.
- Paul quotes well known Poets, one even a stoic, to the effect that He is actually personally present and is the reason for our very existence.
- The upshot is then that God is not made of an earthly material like gold or silver or stone—not an idol—and from this Paul’s hearers must turn away from. Indeed a day of judgment is coming, and the basis of the judgment has to do with a man. A man the creator God has appointed (here we see the idea of Messiah) and who died and rose again.
- Some mocked, others put it off, and some believed.