Paul was giving a sermon through his own testimony of what God had done in his life. We often think that we need to be deep scholars or theologians to share with others about God, but the reality is we can share God with others through our story. I find it amazing that the crowd was listening intently until Paul mentioned that God had sent him to the Gentiles. The word "Gentiles" sent them into a rage and immediately shut them down. This raised several questions for me: what are the words today that will immediately cause people to lose interest? Are we ready to share with people the things they don't want to hear?
This chapter is similar to Chapter 22 in the fact that Paul is addressing a captive audience. As Paul looks around and sees that his audience is half Pharisee and half Sadducee he begins to taylor his words specifically to that reality. He takes the route of speaking of the resurrection of the dead because his knows the Sadducees and Pharisee's were divided deeply about this. In this way, he could begin to gain supporters who would hear him out. The interesting thing is, the Pharisee's were not in agreement with Paul's claim of Jesus' resurrection or that Jesus was the Messiah, they were only concerned about being right over the Sadducees. We must be careful that we don't find ourselves in meaningless arguments over doctrine and theology that we miss opportunities sitting in front of us. These two groups were not even paying attention to the life changing message Paul was sharing, they were simply looking to prove their points over the other group.
What things stood out to you from these passages?