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Paul’s Message on Mars Hill (Part 2) ACTS 17:19-21

When Paul arrived in Athens, he was waiting for Timothy and Silas to join him.  Because of the delay, Paul is looking around and seeing things that are contrary to his belief and his missionary journey.  As he was going, he becomes disturbed because he did not like what he was seeing and began to address those issues, while he was in the synagogue. All of Athens was consumed by philosophers. They began to call Paul a babbler (in Greek it means seed picker…someone that picks certain things out).  They thought it was strange because he was preaching about Jesus and the resurrection.


  1. The Place for the Message (v.19)

  • They asked him to make a public presentation at Areopagus (Mars Hill).  This is a hilltop where philosophers go to debate.  Only those that were in serious issues, would appear on that hill.

  1. The Perplexity for the Message (v.19b-20)

  • There was problem here.  They never heard anything quite like Paul’s teachings.  Their curiosity was getting the best of them and they wanted Paul to explain, so they could understand.

  1. The Practice for the Message (v.21)

  • There is a tradition that the Athenians use.  They sat around downtown, listening, and waiting to hear new ideas.  They listened to any novel and new thing that came along. 

  • They looked for things that were uncommon, unconventional, unorthodox and unusual.

  • John 5:  in Jerusalem, there was a man with an infirmity, for 38 years.  He hung around the Pool of Bethesda.  He was waiting on something because they heard if you’re there when the water is troubled, if you’re the first one to step in, you can be healed.  Jesus showed up, saw the man who had been waiting for 38 years.  He asked him if he wanted to be made whole and healed him. 


Acts 17:19-21

19 And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?

20 For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean.

21 (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)


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