Some modern commentators have questioned Paul's message before the Aeropagus as lacking or not strong enough. But it is Paul's knowledge of pagan beliefs, coupled with his thorough Jewish scholarship, that equipped him to present the gospel to some of the world's greatest thinkers.
Luke, the single Gentile gospel writer, knew the Apostle Paul and was an early convert to the Christian faith. The earliest churches were strongly influenced by their Jewish roots. Luke's narrative offers some details and connections that the other three gospels do not include.
The people called Israel needed good news. Other than the privileged upper class who maintained a tenuous peace with the Roman authorities and controlled social and religious establishments, the vast majority struggled to live adequately and hold on to the promise that God would send the Messiah.
We clearly hear that God's answer to our spiritual blindness and self-centered perspective appears in our world as the child of an obscure descendant of King David. He is celebrated by an older cousin who also bears a son, who will announce the arrival of God's promised Savior.
We who describe ourselves as “God's sheep” should remember there is some “goat” in us all. Our calling is not to become superior to others but to be loving, like our Savior. That involves a lifetime of learning and growing.