The apostle Paul once studied under Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). Gamaliel was an honored Jewish teacher of the time (Acts 5:34). Therefore, the apostle Paul possessed an extensive knowledge of the law.
With the Holy Spirit’s guidance, he also understood his audience, which is a crucial aspect of present-day marketing. When speaking to a Jewish audience in Acts 13:13-52, he began with themes that were familiar to them. And when addressing a Greek audience in Acts 17:16-34, he understood that Jewish history would be meaningless. So he pointed out what they believed about their god. But in both cases, he centered the rest of his sermon around the resurrection of Christ.
In the same way, understanding our audience will help us introduce the Good News. And that is only one small detail I find most interesting of the apostle Paul’s enormous, yet humble, character. A man stoned and beaten (both in and out of prison) (Acts 14:8-20; 16:16-40), shipwrecked (Acts 27:1-44), placed under house arrest (and still wrote letters to all the churches) (Acts 28:16-31), and finally faced death in a cold Roman prison (2 Timothy 4:6-8)—all for the sake of the gospel.
Image by Brad Neathery via Freely Photos