Acts 17:22–34 (ESV)
Paul Addresses the Areopagus
22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I
passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world
and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.
26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek
God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for
him we live and move and have our being’;
as even some of your own poets have said,
“ ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’
then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people
everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33 So
Paul went out from their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.
Paul reaches out to Athenians who do not know the Scriptures. He uses teachings from their philosophy and literature to point them to the God of creation, who sent His Son, Jesus. All people need to repent before Christ comes again
to judge the living and the dead. The Creator desires that all people seek after Him. In love, He has come to us with the message of Jesus Christ, who has saved us by His resurrection.
I pray: Heavenly Father, move all people to seek You through repentance and to come to the true knowledge that You have already reached out to them in Christ. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht,
The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009),