What’s in the past?
Acts 17:19 “Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?”
It is sometimes what lies behind the story that actually makes the story. When we unlock the past then the present is more understandable. This is clearly seen in our verse today. On first reading you cannot see anything more than what is being said.
The Epicureans and Stoics take Paul to the Areopagus, a highly respected council. To be a member you had to be over 60 years of age and have had a high government office.
They ask Paul about his ‘new teaching’.
However, Paul knew about the history, six centuries earlier, Apollo who inaugurated the court of the Areopagus had declared in an Aeschylus’s play, “when a man dies, and his blood is shed on the ground, there is no resurrection.” On that same spot Paul declares that God unveiled and confirmed Himself by raising Jesus from the dead. He is writing the wrong of 600 years.
The verse today tells us that we need to think in all circumstances, ‘what happened before?’ ‘What has the past story told us?’
Ignore the past and there will be no inspiration in the present.