May We Know This New Teaching?


In college, I was constantly receiving new information. There were many times I would learn something in a history or music class and feel as if I were an expert on the subject. I was regularly sharing new things with my friends and family that made me seem like I knew exactly what I was talking about. It took me a long time to come to the realization that the more I knew, the more there still was to learn. I found out that my pride in “knowing” something often kept me from being open to new ideas and thoughts.

  • When has your pride made you unwilling to learn new things or accept new information? What did it take for you to realize that you still have things to learn in this area?


13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Berea also, they came there too, agitating and stirring up the crowds. 14 Then the brothers immediately sent Paul off on his way to the sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there. 15 Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens, and after receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they departed.

16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. 18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. 19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What provoked Paul in Athens? Why would the idols have been so upsetting to him?
  2. To what three groups did Paul preach Jesus and the resurrection (vss. 17, 18)?
  3. What does it say about the power of what Paul was teaching/preaching that the people in Athens wanted to hear more about the gospel?
  4. Where in Athens did Paul share the gospel? What are the equivalents today to the synagogue and the marketplace? (Note: There is no direct equivalent to the Areopagus today; however, universities may the closest.)
  5. In what ways can you communicate the gospel to everyone, including people who believe differently than you do?


Like Paul, the idolatry that we encounter should move us deeply with jealousy for God’s name. It should inspire us to develop our abilities to defend the gospel in various settings and with those who are open to Jesus, and also with those who are less so. It is amazing that the proclamation of Jesus and the resurrection can intrigue even the most educated people who might believe something completely different, if only we are willing to share.

  • Ask God to help you to constantly be willing to learn new truths about him and to grow in your ability to communicate those truths to others.
  • Pray that you can be bold enough to share the gospel with anyone and everyone, even those who believe differently than you.