“While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.”
– Acts 17:16-18
In this verse we see that Paul is moved by concern and compassion for the people who were worshiping idols. He began to speak out in their churches and in their streets. He determined to make any area that he could find people in his marketplace for souls. He decided that he would not be confined by the fact that he was an outsider and that the people did not understand what he was trying to say.
A lot of times, this is what holds us back from seeing our surroundings as a marketplace: we fear people’s reactions. But in reality this verse shows us that when Paul set aside any fears he had, he was able to rattle cages and get responses from the people. In this scenario they said he was “advocating foreign gods” and often, people are afraid of what they don’t know. They will act rash and lash out because they fear the unknown.
What we can do in our marketplaces today is show people the peace of God, the joy of God, the compassion of God. This will allow people to come to you without fear, to see you as a symbol of good, and people do not often fear what is good. Think of it this way, if you are in school, have a family, and play a sport, those are three different marketplaces.
Think of each one as a balloon, and in order for you to fulfill your purpose, you need to tie that balloon to the Word of God. What does that mean? It means that you should be praying for and applying the Word to each marketplace you are a part of. Then you will see amazing things happen in your marketplaces.
Believing with you,