This woman of the bible is named in one verse - Acts 17:34. This is the only place Damaris is mentioned. She lived in Athens and is remembered because she heard the Apostle Paul's testimony and became a believer in Christ.
Athens was a cultural center, full of beautiful architecture and art forms. The city housed a world famous university and was known as the intellectual capital of the world. The people loved to hear about different ideas and cultures. It must have been a fascinating city to visit. However, as Paul toured the city, he was distressed. The art forms showed the heart of the city to be centered in idol worship. There were statues dedicated to many gods and there was even an idol to an unknown god.
As was his habit, Paul went to work sharing Christ. He spent every day in spiritual warfare. He spoke in the synagogue and in the marketplace. He reasoned with anyone who would talk to him. The people of Athens loved to debate.
Many wanted to know about Paul's belief. They wanted to hear Paul's teaching about Christ. Unfortunately, most were not willing to alter their own belief system. They learned about Christ but never learned to know him personally. Their hearts were hardened to any teaching that would cause them to change.
As a result of Paul's teaching, a few men and one woman are listed as becoming believers in Christ. The woman's name is Damaris.
Paul spent a lot of his time proclaiming Christ in Athens. He reasoned and debated. However, many doubted, many kept searching and some sneered at the teaching. Not many were converted. There is no record of a church being founded there. The majority of the people had hardened hearts. Today, Christians witnessing in their home towns and in foreign lands often spend a lot of time and effort in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. Their work may seem to be wasted. Even with few converts and no church founded, Paul's time was not wasted. Damaris and the few men who believed Paul's testimony would be eternally grateful. If you share your testimony a thousand times and one person receives Christ, your time was spent well.
Read: Hebrews 6:10 and 1 Timothy 4:10
The Latin meaning of Damaris is gentle. The Greek and Hebrew meaning is calf or heifer.
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