7/1/16 Athens Is An Idolater’s Paradise

While he waits for Silas and Timothy to join him, Paul explores the city of Athens.  He walks through the city, watching the people as they go about their business during the day, and the more he sees, the more horrified he becomes.  The city is full of idolatry.  Everywhere he looks he sees statues, tapestries, temples, altars, porticos, colonnades, all devoted to the worship of the Greek gods.  There is an altar in the courtyard of every home he sees.  He sees people bowing to statues and busts of the various gods, worshipping them in the temples and at their home altars, making sacrifices, chanting, praying, singing, burning incense to these fake gods made by human hands.  After several days of witnessing this, he can’t take it any longer.  He goes into the synagogue, the only place not given over to the worship of these idols, and begins to teach the Jews and those Gentiles who have embraced Judaism there about Jesus.  But he doesn’t stop there.  He teaches any who will hear him in the marketplace as well.  The marketplace is the center of Greek life, and Paul has been watching all the philosophers there debating loudly about man’s relationship to the gods, the meaning of life, and what we should strive for to reach our highest purposes in life.  ‘Why can’t I do the same thing for Jesus here?’ Paul thinks to himself.  He plants himself in the center of the marketplace, and in a loud voice, begins to declare the message of Jesus to everyone.  He goes there every day, and begins to draw more and more interest as the days go by.


Acts 17:16-17


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