Acts 17 – PT1
Sep 1, 2019 // By:Dave // No Comment
we left off in Acts 16:37-40
But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us in public without trial, men who are Romans, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they sending us away secretly? No indeed! But let them come themselves and bring us out. The policemen reported these words to the chief magistrates. They were afraid when they heard that they were Romans, and they came and appealed to them, and when they had brought them out, they kept begging them ato leave the city. They went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia, and when they saw the brethren, they 1encouraged them and departed.
this is the beginning of the fellowship to whom Paul will later write a letter (Phillipians)
1 ¶ Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.
100 miles from Phillipi , Thessalonica is capital of Macedonia.
1 thess 1:7-8
“so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.“
execheo =sounded from = echoed
the word of the Lord came to them, then came through them
Paul is starting brush fires to spread out, moving on and starting another one
2 And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
how long did he stay ? (3 weeks)
reasoned with them from the Scriptures = doesn’t say “believe me” he showed reasonable scriptural support for his claims
**(uses scripture to reason since these are Jews and understand scripture)
3 explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.”
we did this last week, examining scriptures that demonstrated Christ claiming to be God.
to the Jews, the title Messiah, had specific meaning, the greek word “Christ” , from “Christos”, means anointed one (it’s the greek version of Messiah, and since this passage is about speaking to Greek speaking jews, the term Christos is useful in the conversation.
4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large number of the God-fearing Greeks and a number of the leading women.
5 But the Jews, becoming jealous and taking along some wicked men (thugs) from the market place, formed a mob and set the city in an uproar; and attacking the house of Jason, they were seeking to bring them out to the people.
6 When they did not find them, they began dragging Jason and some brethren before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have upset the world have come here also;
who has upset the world ? (these men of God, or these men resisting God)
God resistors who say “upside down” actually are describing right-side up !
we’ve got two opposite reactions from the same Word
Some background on this “upset the world” comment :
within ten years of the resurrection , Jews residing in Rome, have become divided over Christ. this as causing so much turmoil in Rome, that they “kicked them out”
basically, the doctrine of the resurrection of Christ has caused division everywhere it went because of the Jews who resisted the teaching and started trouble over it.
The Thessalonian mob is telling the authorities, “if you dont deal with these people saying they have another king besides Caesar, you are betraying Caesar and will suffer the consequences” (same leverage used against Pontus Pilate in Jerusalem)
7 and Jason has welcomed them, and they all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.”
Jews saying “we have no king but Caesar” have already sold out
8 They stirred up the crowd and the city authorities who heard these things.
9 And when they had received a pledge from Jason and the others, they released them.
pledge = bribe
10 The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
why are they more noble minded ?
do not be afraid to ask, to question, to learn.
“nothing can separate us from the love of God”
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
“My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
12 Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.
13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica found out that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul in Berea also, they came there as well, agitating and stirring up the crowds.
Thessolonian Jews, followed Paul to Berea to turn the crowds against him there as well.
14 Then immediately the brethren sent Paul out to go as far as the sea; and Silas and Timothy remained there.
15 Now those who escorted Paul brought him as far as Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they left.
Paul is escorted by some brothers, via boat, to Athens, he gives instructions to send Silas and Timothy to join him, the brothers go back and leave him alone there, in Athens (he was likely planning to head to Corinth once Silas and Timothy caught up with him)
Athens, the capital city of Greece, has stood for over 5000 years. at this time, it is not important politically (such as a city like Corinth)
it’s power was “thought” (only a few hundred years previous, minds such as Pericles, Plato, Aristotle, Sophocles, Euripides)
Under Rome (who conquered Athens around 85 bc), Athens was given the status of a free city because of its widely admired schools.
16 ¶ Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was being provoked within him as he was observing the city full of idols.
30,000 gods in Athens!
Peterronius, one of the ancient historians, said that is was easier to find a god in Athens than a man!
17 So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.
18 And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, “What would this idle babbler wish to say?” Others, “He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities,” — because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.
19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is which you are proclaiming?
20 “For you are bringing some strange things to our ears; so we want to know what these things mean.”
21 (Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new.)
22 ¶ So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects.
23 “For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.
starts his evangelism with relative concepts
24 “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands;
25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;
26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,
27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’
29 “Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.
30 “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,
31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
32 ¶ Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, “We shall hear you again concerning this.”
33 So Paul went out of their midst.
34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.