Having received the commander's permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the crowd. When they were all silent, he said to them in Aramaic:
Thoughts for Today:In our passage today we find Paul speaking to the crowd in Aramaic when previously in verse 37-38 he surprised the Roman commander by asking a question of him in the Greek language. In fact, throughout Acts we have seen Paul similarly shift his presentation style to fit his audience. In other words, Paul adapted his message based on his audiences' ability to understand. This was not only true for language (Greek versus Aramaic), but complexity as well. For example, in 1 Corinthians 3:2, "I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it."
The other night my wife, daughter and I were watching a foreign movie with sub-titles. For my wife and I it wasn't too bad although it does take some getting used to (following the action while reading the accompanying dialogue). For my daughter Amanda, who is in first grade, it was next to impossible. Although she is a proficient reader for her age group -- sounding out the words, understanding the word definitions in the context of the sentence, plus following what was happening on screen and the overall plot -- well let's just say it was a bit beyond her ability. Frustrated and exasperated she went to her bedroom to watch a Disney movie, one that she could understand. Such is the case with so many who are introduced to more complex Christian ideas before they have had a chance to completely understand the fundamentals.
Questions to Ponder:The Word of God and the message of Jesus Christ is both incredibly simple and mind-boggling in its complexity. Where we are in our spiritual growth and maturity determines how many new concepts we can process and understand. This is true for all of us regardless of how much we think we know. The key when we witness to others is to make sure we speak at the level that person can understand and process. The same is true for us when we learn. Are you ready for more complex instruction, or are you still on baby food? Which concepts are the most difficult for you to understand? Why? Are you pursuing greater knowledge or have you retired from learning? What steps can you take to grow towards greater spiritual understanding? Decide on one step you can take today.