Good morning! We see in today’s reading that a steady theme continues as the Gospel is being presented. This theme is jealousy among, especially, the religious. It happened during the life of Christ and now, on Paul’s journey, many people react with the exact same responses. Jealousy is a cancer that destroys from the inside out. Jealousy causes one to be unreasonable and unable to face the truth. It is no surprise that Satan uses jealousy as a major tool in his arsenal; after all that is the very reason that he fell from heaven taking one-third of the angels with him. The Bible shows us this in Isaiah chapter fourteen. Satan had said in his heat that “I will be like the most high.” Selfish ambition so often, if not always, is the reason for disbelief and disobedience. Remember in the garden when the sinless Eve was duped by Lucifer? She finally gave in to the temptation when Lucifer led her to believe that she would “be like God, knowing good from evil.” The men in this chapter, that tried to stop the message that Paul was preaching, were unwilling to have the attention taken from off of them. Many believed after Paul explained in the synagog (which is a gathering place much like our church buildings today for the Jews because they could not go to the temple any longer) the scriptures to them. Paul had made a path from the old testament writings, prophesies and symbols that caused many to believe. Even when faced with the truth of God’s Word, these jealous religious men would not repent.
Paul then preaches his famous message at Mars hill. This is where Paul tells them that they are indeed very religious; but their religion is in vain because they were focusing their worship in the wrong direction. Notice in these chapters that there were many who “feared God” and there were many who were “religious.” But we should take serious note, that these religious, God fearing people were still hopelessly lost without the Gospel of Christ. Today, things are not much different. We are surrounded by religion and religious people. There are many who fear God, in fact they are petrified of Him because they are still hopelessly relying on their own works to save them. There are still those who will not allow the spot light to fall from there face and give glory to God. This book is as relevant today as in the day it was written! I hope that when we are studying together we will realize this. This should also remind us that we have the same mission and the same mandate and we should have the same mindset to take the Gospel to these people. Many will reject it, but just as in the day of Paul’s missionary journey, many will accept it. The prophet Isaiah states that God’s Word will not return unto Him void. Keep spreading the Word of the True Gospel. Your life will be blessed.