The Reactions of the Athenians
It would appear on the whole that Paul had less success in Athens than anywhere else. It was typical of the Athenians that all they wanted was to talk. They did not want action; they did not even particularly want conclusions. They wanted simply mental acrobatics and the stimulus of a mental hike.
There were three main reactions.
(1) Some mocked. They were amused by the passionate earnestness of this strange Jew. It is possible to make a joke of life, but those who do so will find that what began as comedy must end in tragedy.
(2) Some put off their decision. The most dangerous of all days is when a person discovers how easy it is to talk about tomorrow.
(3) Some believed. The wise man knows that only the fool will reject God's offer.
Two converts are named. There is Dionysius the Areopagite. As already said, the Areopagus was composed of perhaps not more than thirty people, so Dionysius must have been one of the intellectual aristocrats of Athens. There was Damaris. The position of women in Athens was very restricted. It is unlikely that any respectable women would have been in the market square at all. The likelihood is that she turned from a way of shame to a way of life. Once again, we see the gospel making its appeal to all classes and conditions of men and women.
Life Application: Have you ever tried to witness to people and discovered that all they wanted to do was talk? If so, how did you - or did you - go on to pray?
Praise/Prayer: Dear Father, how thankful I am for the opportunities I have had to talk with people about knowing You. I pray for those who didn't want to pray. I don't know where they are today.