Damaris

In Study the Women of the Bible by revealadmin1 Comment

Listening to the persuasive words of the Christian captivated Damaris. In all of her years of education, no one had ever communicated so passionately and intellectually concerning the Christian God. His demeanor demanded attention, Paul’s life experience screamed dedication, but it was his own intellect that drew Damaris to him.

He was like her. Smart, sophisticated, love to learn, drawn to the sciences of the mind and inner being. She found herself watching closely, intently searching for some reason to side with the Athenian philosophers, judges, and intellects, but her heart was abuzz with something fresh and new. Something she had never felt before.

Damaris is mention in Luke’s account Acts. This female convert of Paul’s witness at Marks Hill, must have been a well-known Athenian. Singled out with the Dionysius the Areopagite, one of the court judges, indicated her personal or social distinction.

When Paul was mocked at Athens, Damaris along with Dionysius clave unto the Apostle and believed in his message. How their conversion must have cheered his heart and spirit! [1]

“So Paul, standing in the center of he Areopagus, said: ‘Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious and devout in all respects. Now as I was going along and carefully looked at your objects of worship, I came to an altar with this in scripture: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore what you already worship is unknown, this I proclaim to you.

The God who created the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, because it is He who gives to all life and breath and all things. And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories. This was so that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grasp Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:22-27)

Paul continues to praise Jesus Christ and the resurrection, but when the Athenian men hear this, they mock and sneer the Apostle. Some men joined Paul and believed including a woman named Damaris.

Intellect is a good thing. The creator of Heaven and Earth endowed man with an inquisitive design and an appreciation for knowledge. There are countless resources to study whatever genre of interest you may have. This quest for academic growth has spanned for centuries. Ancient Greece searched for knowledge and one woman was of no exception.

Damaris was a woman of intellect. She surrounded herself with scholars, philosophers, and court officials (Acts 17:12). She was privy to an impressive cerebral court and high society of Athens. She was drawn to the Apostle because the Lord opened her heart to receive his message, but I also think she found a friend in academia.

Paul was an extremely intelligent man. Acts 22:3 inscribes Paul’s education under the scholar and highly respected Gamaliel. As his student, Paul studied in strict conformity to the Law of God. In Philippians he writes, “If someone else thinks they have reason to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness basked on the law, faultless.” (Philippians 3:4-6)

Ultimately it was God who opened her heart, Paul was the vessel used for the message. Just as Lydia’s heart was opened, God opened Damaris’ heart to hear the Word of the Living God and accept Him. “And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.” (Acts 16:14)

Paul was an excellent communicator. Passionate, wise, and in love with Jesus Christ. This endearment to Christ is what drew people to the Lord and opened their heart to Him. God used Paul then, just as we are used to today to minister to those outside the faith.

As Christians we are to give a word in and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2). We are to always to be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asked us to give reason for the hope we have. But we are to do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander (1 Peter 3:15-16).

All knowledge comes from Christ. “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:15-16) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been mad. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” (John 1:1-4)

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7) I believe, as Christians, we are to study in wonder and awe at what God has created. His ingenuity is breathless and indescribable. For not one human being to have the same fingerprints, to be individually created and unique in their own design is unfathomable. Our finite mind could never do it.

The men of Athens’ minds were focused on the world, contemplating theologies, but never coming to the Truth or knowledge of what they sought. Paul attempted to explain, a dissertation receiving the highest marks from God; lives converted to Him.

Never give up on spreading the Gospel to those who deem themselves too wise for Jesus Christ; a simpleton from Nazareth. Never give up on God opening the heart of those whose minds have been used by God to give us insight into His masterpiece Earth. Never give up on those whom God gifted with academia intelligence, for He may open their heart to come to Him like a little child; a mind opened to the wonders of Christ.

Comments

  1. Catherine

    We must be careful who we are around. Bad company corrupts good morals. On the other hand the opposite is true too.

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