“When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” Acts 17:32 (NIV)
Paul had just delivered one of the greatest speeches in history. He had stood in Athens on Mars Hill, the philosophical and intellectual centre of the ancient world. He had spoken articulately and powerfully about creation, the nature of God and about Jesus but then he crossed a line. He spoke about the resurrection of Jesus from the dead – at this point many of the listeners lost interest, they sneered at what he was saying.
Paul could have stopped short and presented the message of the gospel as just a philosophical principle but he recognized that the gospel without the miraculous resurrection of Jesus is not the gospel at all.
It is interesting that in everyday life we often see the same thing. People like the teaching of the gospel - to a point. They can easily assent to intellectual concepts or embrace aspects like caring for the poor and loving your neighbor yet for many people that is where their traction with the message of Jesus ends. Once you start talking about Jesus being raised from the dead or the supernatural power of God in your life we see a similar response to that which Paul received. Some sneer, some want to hear more.
The message of Jesus is more than just an intellectual or social ideology, it is the message of hope, of transformed lives, of God moving in this world and this is the message of the gospel for you today.