Acts Chapter 17

How bold was Paul?  Did Acts 17 really say that he went to new cities, stopped in to Synagogues, and began talking/teaching about Jesus! Either he was very bold or Synagogues were much different than I imagine where a designated teacher, or Rabbi in today vernacular, was “the” teacher.  I know it would violate all kinds of norms today for a visitor to come to our church and begin teaching.  There is no doubt in my mind that Paul was bold.  It says that he even taught in public squares to whoever was present.  And man, it sounds like he meet all kinds of resistance.  He was chased out of towns.  It sounds to me like very few believed him.

As brilliant, convincing, and bold as Paul seemed to be, most people who heard him did not become a believer in Jesus.  

It makes me wonder why did I become a believer? Why might others become believers?  Well for me it was a process.  I listened to many teachers (like Paul) and did some reading of the Bible and Bible commentary on my own, and eventually came to believe intellectually.  But spiritually I had to do some living after I believed intellectually to realize that there is no way with all of my flaws that I could be credited with the beauty around me or the beauty that I was a part of (like the family Kris and I have been blessed with, our healthy delightful children, and more recently our grandchildren) and I came to the realization that the God that I believed in intellectually was actually at work living through me.  I THINK I BELIEVE MORE AND MORE THE LONGER I LIVE.  The process may be different for others, but somewhere along the journey I think most come to an instinctive realization that they cannot claim credit for all of the blessing in their life and/or that they desperately need the help of a super power to overcome obstacles in their life.