God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November 26 - Acts 17-18:18: The Jews Stalk Paul; Paul Reaches the Athenians where They Are

Today’s Reading: Acts 17-18:18

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

The Jews are following Paul and Silas as they go from city to city.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

Paul and Silas customarily taught Jews first. In Thessalonica, some believed. Others tried stopping Paul.
Next, they taught in Berea. Gentiles and Jews believed.
Thessalonian Jews followed Paul. He escaped to Athens.
Paul grew angry at Athen's sea of idols. Paul spoke at the Areopagus against idols and about God wanting everyone to set things right because of the eventual Resurrection. Some mocked and some believed.
Aquila and Priscilla were expelled from Rome alongside the Jews.
The Corinthian Jews would not listen. So Paul taught the Gentiles.
God strengthened Paul's resolve.
He was arrested but the charges were dismissed.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

Paul first went to the Jews.

God opened His Chosen People for the world to join. However, God made a covenant with Abraham, too. Therefore, when Paul and Silas went from town to town they first stopped in to help God's Original Chosen People understand why Jesus had to die. God will never give up on His Chosen People.

The Jews cared more for their way of life than God.

Notice how their charges against Paul and Silas are not about them being wrong about God but instead go against their culture. God may still want His Chosen People to change, but they were still too headstrong to change. God cannot set things right when His Chosen People want to keep their lifestyles instead of setting things right.

Paul's lesson in Athens was different than Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost and in the Temple.

Paul could go into the Old Testament and show them that Jesus must be crucified as he did with the Jews. He could tell them that their sins put Jesus on the cross, as Peter did. He doesn't do either of those. Instead, he points out that they have idols to a god they don't know and he wants to introduce them to Him. The irony for them is that God doesn't want their carved images because He created the world. Paul begins there because that is their mindset and what is in front of him. God begins where we are to help us connect to His Message. Don't teach the same message to everyone. Not everyone has the same mindset. Start with where they are and they will want to set things right.

The Jews were kicked out of Rome.

This will be important next week when we start Romans.

God would protect Paul.

God protects His Chosen Messengers. God always has and always will.

Do you care to keep your religious way of life or do you want to set things right?

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