Monday, November 16, 2015

On 11-22-15, Acts 17:1-4, 10-12, 22-25, 28 will be our Adult Sunday School/ Uniform Series/ International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Thessalonica, Berea and Athens

Thessalonica, Berea and Athens
Acts 17:1-4, 10-12, 22-25, 28
November 22, 2015

Jed Greenough

Last week we read that the Lord opened Lydia’s heart to respond to Paul’s message.  This week  we don’t read those words but we see it in the different people who came to believe what Paul was teaching.  Sometimes there were more Gentiles and sometimes there were more Jews.

Acts 17 is very interesting to see the process that Paul used to try and convey his message.  He didn’t wait for people to come to him but rather went to where the people were.  He went to synagogues and to the marketplace and spoke before meetings both friendly and otherwise.

Paul used the scriptures to explain and prove that Jesus was the Messiah whether he was in Thessalonica or Berea or any town.  Again some came to believe and some did not.  I find it most interesting that there seemed to be more success in Berea where these people did not just listen to the message but searched the scriptures for themselves.

For those who might have been unfamiliar to the scriptures Paul looked around for things that those people could relate to and in Athens that was idols, alters and reason.  These people specialized in talking things through and Paul’s method of explaining to them who God was in verses 22-31 really had to set off some light bulbs!  Really I’d say it was ingenious if not inspired.

But all this certainly points out that first, though God could lead some spontaneously to do it on their own, someone first has to bring the message.  Thus, “ And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”  Romans 10:15-17

And, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

This part we don’t understand where some are led to believe but how we go about doing it is all we need to be concerned with.

In the last couple weeks we have talked of not ignoring his call to be sent and we have seen today how to be prepared to deliver the message.  We needn't be concerned with the outcome as God determines that.

For Discussion:

  1. Discuss God opening peoples hearts.
  2. Discuss the effectiveness of God’s word in speaking to people.
  3. Discuss the idea of going out and not staying within the church so that the message is spread.
  4. Discuss how to bring people within the church to hear the good news is done by inviting them.
  5. Discuss if the message they hear if they come will be the gospel.
  6. Discuss the need for creativity in bringing knowledge of God to people.
  7. Discuss how to support those who are bringing people the gospel message.

Upcoming Lessons

11-29-15  Teaching God’s Word     Acts 18:1-11, 18-21a

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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