A new year but we still have the same old Gospel message. In Acts 17, Paul is in Athens with time on his hands while waiting for Silas and Timothy to join him. He does not waste that time. As he looks upon the ancient city with its grand architecture, illustrious history, and philosophical people, his heart is stirred because he sees Athens wholly given to idolatry. So he begins to preach unto them Jesus [v18], first in the synagogue to the Jews, then daily in the market place, a public meeting place for shopping, and philosophical discussions. Many and heated are the debates between Stoics, Epicureans, and others.
Into this motley crowd steps Paul. His message is simple – Jesus Christ crucified and raised from the dead. The people begin to listen, and the proud philosophers wonder, “What will this babbler say?” Their expression shows their utter contempt for God’s faithful servant. “Babbler” means “seed picker.” Paul is derided as one picks like a bird at the crumbs of human philosophy.
But why should Paul concern himself about what mere, miserable, mortal men may say of him? Paul has the everlasting Gospel of Christ to proclaim. If “it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe,” [1 Corinthians 1:21] why should he, or any other Christian, fear what men will say to him, or of him?