When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said. Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with many of the Greeks who worshipped God and many of the important women. (Acts 17:1-4)
God reveals himself to those who seek Him with all their hearts. (Jeremiah 29:13b) Only some Jews sought God that way. Others thought the Messiah would be majestic, keep men in power, and would love them when they kept all of the laws. They thought they knew God so didn’t seek him.
On the other hand, God revealed himself to many Greeks and many important women. The Greeks were Gentiles drawn to Jewish Scripture. They felt the validity of the Scripture but didn’t want to follow many laws, both scriptural and non-scriptural, the Jews told them were necessary to convert to Judaism, so they didn’t convert and weren’t circumcised because they searched for something more.
The important women were like Lydia, educated and business owners. Greek philosophy advanced their minds but did nothing for their hearts. Some philosophies and art dishonored women, so the were overjoyed to learn about Christ: “In Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) Women need a savior who considers them equal to men, so they sought Him.
It’s easy for those like you and me who study the Bible to think we know a lot about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. But the truth is the Scriptures reveal little about our triune God because he wants us to seek Him now and throughout eternity with a personal relationship.
Father God, I praise You for being complex. I want to know why you created mosquitoes, hurricanes, and people and how you came to be and if you were always so loving and full of grace. As you lead me down life’s path, teach me more about yourself. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.