Acts 17:22 Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you
Paul was in the middle of preaching the Gospel to Jews and Gentiles across Corinth, Thessalonica and Berea; when we find him in this text speaking in Athens, Greece. He was speaking to a group of leaders; the Areopagus or The Areopagite Council who were advisers to the king. While speaking Paul makes mention of a couple of things I found interesting:
1. I perceive that in all things you are very religious: Religious; believing in or relating to a religion. Religion is the belief or worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. The Greeks were known for their Twelve Olympian Gods and Goddesses, which included Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Haphaestus, Hermes, Hestia, and Dionysius. Each god or goddess having a specific category of life they were over. Paul was acknowledging that he understood how they desperately wanted to believe in something much more powerful than themselves.
2. I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD: They served an Unknown God, a God they were worshiping without any real knowledge of just who this God was. This is not unlike today where many people declare their allegiance to a God or a “Man Upstairs,” or the “Universe,” without having knowledge of who this being. Many people are confused as to what they believe and what they should believe, and it is never move visible than in a moment of Chaos or Struggle.
It is here that I wanted to focus today. Paul did something that we all should be doing to reach those we know that are finding this COVID19 era very difficult, chaotic and unbearable. Paul decided to make God known to this group of Greek Leaders and for that matter every town he went into. He ends verse 23; Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you. We are very fortunate with the many tools which we have access to that allow us to share our faith effectively. We have a bible, preachers, scholars and a human history full of testimonies of personal interactions with God the Father, Jesus the Son of God and the Holy Spirit of God. We have God to lean on as our source when we share with our family and friends.
Just like Paul experiences, as he shared Christ with these leaders not everyone will receive his words. As a matter of fact, just like some of our friends and family have responded to us, the council also responded: And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.”
It is our responsibility to do just that; Make God Known thru Christ and after we do follow up with those who will hear you again, while praying for those who mock. Paul left that area with followers including some who were of the Areopagus. It was because Paul understood this: for in Him we live and move and have our being. We are not without help in everything we do, it is in Christ that we live our lives; are able to move about (physically, but also our purpose & guidance which dictate our decisions to take action); and have our being (our identity as the righteousness of God in Christ).