Posts Tagged ‘Dionysius’

Verse 32: “And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on the matter.””

Between high school and moving out on my own, I lived with my grandmother; this allowed me to stay “at home”, and at the same time, gave me some “freedom”, since I was in college. I was still living with my grandmother when I got my first job in the Information Technology department of a textile company. I would come home from work that first year of employment, and my grandmother would ask, “How was your day?” “Oh, it was fine.” “Good! So…what did you do?” Now, my grandmother was not technical in any sense; she was one of those people that couldn’t program the clock on her VCR. At first, I was in a quandary; how do I explain to my grandmother that I dealt with mainframe jobs, using procedure modules, COBOL code, and job control language (JCL)? Well, I resorted to what I like to use in such cases: analogies. My grandmother was one of the best cooks in the world, and she knew recipes! Therefore, I described what I did in a way that sounded like I was following a recipe and cooking in the kitchen. She understood perfectly.

We find Paul here with the rare opportunity to speak to the men of Athens at the Areopagus. He wanted to make the most of this chance to witness to these people, but this was not his usual audience. He had to reach them in a way that would hold their attention. I marvel at how he seized on their very idol worship, to explain that the unknown god whom he saw an altar set up for, was the One he spoke of. He then proceeded to explain the Good News in a manner that focused on God as the Creator and eventually led to the saving grace of Jesus. Paul had to explain this to them in a manner that they could understand.

Some did understand Paul; others mocked him. Still others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.” According to some text I’ve read in my Holman commentaries, this merely indicated curiosity, or even polite acknowledgment. While Paul’s stay in Athens didn’t result in a crusade-like coming to salvation, there were those who did hear and believe, such as Damaris and Dionysius. Remember, even if you tell masses of people about Jesus Christ, don’t be discouraged if the number of responses don’t tally up to what we think is successful. To the Lord, every soul is precious, and all need to hear the Good News!

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

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Verses 7-8: “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ”

Greek/Roman mythology tells us the tale of King Midas, a king so infatuated with the idea of being rich that he wanted the power to turn everything he touched into gold. He was conveyed this wish by the Greek god Dionysius for the return of treating a satyr friend of Dionysius’s with kindness and respect when he was passed out on the king’s lawn. Reveling in his new-found power, Midas began turning many things to gold. However, he soon discovered that all the gold in the world was worthless, when he discovered that he couldn’t eat (the food turned to gold), he couldn’t drink (the liquid turned to gold), and worst of all, he couldn’t enjoy the love of his family (his daughter was turned to gold when he touched her!) The myth has a happy ending as Dionysius hears Midas’s imploring to take away the golden touch, and by following Dionysius’s instructions, Midas loses the touch, has his daughter restored to him, and learns what he thought was valuable was not, in comparison to what is valuable. (You can look up the story at http://www.mythweb.com/encyc/entries/midas.html ).

Now the above tale is a myth, but Paul relays that the moral is true. What we think is gain to us here on Earth….riches, fame, things….is NOTHING compared to knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Even if you lose it all materially (and Paul certainly was one of those who lost a lot in the eyes of society) as long as you gain Christ, it’s still not worth fretting about…you might as well fret about the garbage! (my son and my wife pointed out that the previous sentence also sounds like “Midas well”. :-)

Something to think about.

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