‘While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.’ (Acts 17:16)
Some personal, national or international events are so distressing that they become buried in our memories and are often recalled. Of those alive at the time, who can forget the image of the little girl running down a Vietnam road in June 1972 during that war.
In this text, Paul had arrived in Athens alone and when looking around the city “he was greatly distressed.” Athens was a major centre of learning in the world and though apparently religious from the number of altars to different gods, there was even an altar to an unknown God.
Paul was an ambassador of that unknown God but what could a single individual do to make Athenians aware of the true God. He commenced in the marketplace, people listened to the fact that Jesus had come from heaven to earth, lived a perfect life but died on a cross, yet three days later was resurrected and then ascended back to heaven.
This message is relevant today and every Christian is responsible for declaring it, so that no one can say they haven’t heard it.
Olivet Evangelical Church, Falkirk