November 26 (Daily reading: Acts 17) There was a mixed response to the gospel in Thessalonica. Some Jews and many Greeks were converted, but other Jews were jealous of Paul and wanted to stop him. They made an interesting accusation: “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too” (17:6, NKJV). The young movement of Christianity already had a reputation. We might think of our Lord as the Divine Disrupter! In reality, it was sin that turned the world upside down. Paul and others who preached the message of Jesus were “turning the world right side up!”
In the next town, Berea, the Jews were more open and gave us a good example: “…they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (17:11). Preaching should always be evaluated by the truth of Scripture! When Paul arrived in Athens, he was alone, but this did not stop him from “preaching Jesus and the resurrection” (17:18). When certain philosophers asked him to explain his beliefs, Paul declared: “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.” He presented God as Creator, and speaking the philosophers’ language, he said: “For in him we live and move and exist.” He spoke of the Messiah, “the Man whom He has ordained” whom God had raised from the dead (Acts 17:18-31).
Although some mocked him because of his speaking on the resurrection, other wanted to hear more. This led to some becoming believers. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for all peoples of all persuasions, all religions, all cultures and all languages. Jesus and His resurrection is the central truth that gives meaning to all of life!
– Al Gary