Acts 17:10-14: Check this out.
“10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men. 13 But when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, some of them went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up. 14 The believers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea.”NIV UK
Genuine care for the welfare of others is a mark of real Christianity. The ‘’brothers’’ in Thessalonica – new converts remember – showed unselfishness in helping Paul and Silas leave town safely, while they remained behind to face consequences in a hostile atmosphere (10).
These early preachers were irrepressible. They had indomitable spirits. In spite of what had happened previously they didn’t put their feet up. Like a rubber ball, they kept bouncing back. They found their way to another synagogue, not knowing what the response would be, but they just marched on anyway.
‘Berea was a city about sixty miles west of Thessalonica. Christ had said to His disciples: ‘’When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another’’ (Matthew 10:23). But Christians don’t flee in order to hide; they flee in order to preach and witness in another place. By persecuting Christians the devil thinks he is stopping the Gospel, but in fact he is causing it to spread!’ Tom Hale: ‘The Applied New Testament Commentary’,p.486.
This time, however, the gospel team encountered people of a different order (11). The Bereans have set the standard, showing how all believers should listen to sermons, read books etc:
‘’…examining the Scriptures to see if they supported what he said.’’ The Message.
The ‘New International Version’ of the Bible says they ‘’…examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.’’ Whenever we hear any teaching, we must ask whether it agrees with what is written in the Bible. If it doesn’t, it is to be discarded
Warren Wiersbe comments: ‘There are fair-minded people in every nation, and God knows who they are.’ Once again, there was a major impact as a result of the preaching (12). Once again, Paul, Silas and Timothy met with trouble, but it came from the outside (13). The Thessalonian Jews were not content to persecute the evangelists only in their own city; they even made the trip to Berea to stir up trouble. It is no wonder that Paul criticised the Jews so severely in 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16. It seems that he was the main target (see 14).
PRAYER: Lord, I pray that I may not be naïve. I don’t want to be someone easily swayed by fads and trends that regularly surface in the church. Help me to remain grounded, with my feet firmly planted on the Rock of your truth.