July 30

Acts 17:2-4, 11 2As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ," he said. 4Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.

11Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Paul usually began working in a city from a Jewish synagogue. It was a place where he could speak to people with some background in prophecies about the Messiah. His approach was to show the people that the prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth. He explained that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. To explain why Jesus had to suffer is to explain His sacrifice in our place.

Seeing that the prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus, some of the Jews were persuaded, along with a large number of God-fearing Greeks. Even in those early days, women seem to have more readily accepted the Gospel. The Jews who did not accept Paul's teaching were jealous of their winning the crowds. They stirred up a riot, and Paul and Silas had to leave.

The next town called Berea received the message with a more noble qualities. Instead of emotion and competition, they searched the Scriptures every day to see if Paul and Silas were speaking the truth. The church today has the same response to teaching. Some just get upset and boot out the new speaker, despite new people coming into fellowship. They are jealous of a loss of power. Others search the Scriptures to see if the new speaker is teaching Scriptural truth.

Consider: When you hear a message that teaches something unfamiliar to you, do you act like a Thessalonican or a Berean?