Wednesday Wordplay: Academy

The citizens of Sparta, grateful for the successful return of Helen by the help of an Athenian man named “Academus” purchased a grove on the outskirts of Athens and gave it to him. Much later the grove became a public garden known as The Grove Of Academus. Circa 387 B.C. Plato, the Athenian philosopher took up his residence adjacent to the garden. As the young men of Athens came to study with him it was his habit to teach them as he walked the paths in the garden. This was his practice for the next 40 years. It is no wonder then that the Athenians named Plato’s school “the AcademiaSource
History would tell the rest of the story and down through the ages we have received the word Academy as an institution of concentrated learning.

Through a series of associations one thing became named for another. Thus we read in Acts 11:26 that the disciples of Jesus were first called “Christians” Antioch. The word is not meant to be a complement and may not have been used in a derogatory fashion either. It was already common to name groups in this manner. Hence followers of Herod were Herodians etc.
In the context of Acts 11:19-26 we see that the “the Christians in Antioch were now viewed as a separate society rather than as a section of the Jewish synagogue” (TDNT 9:537). The followers of Jesus had come to be named solely for Him whom they followed.

By what name are you known? It seems a subject worthy of self reflection to discern how people know you. Do they know you as one who follows Christ? Rather than merely a designation that we take upon ourselves may it be that the name of Christ is applied to us by those who witness our life and thus name us as followers of Jesus Christ.

1 Pet 4:16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.