“These men who have upset the world have come here also; and Jason has welcomed them, and they all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.”
Saturday’s Bible reading is Acts 17–18. After leaving Philippi, Paul, Silas and Timothy travel on to Thessalonica. There Paul continues to “upset the world” by preaching the Gospel. Jews and Gentiles alike believe, but the ensuing uproar and riot is such that Paul and Silas must go on to Berea. There they are met by a different response.
“The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.”
As I quoted D. J. Wiseman’s remarks last week on Haggai:
“The source of the words in God and their consequent authority over men is acknowledged in the obedience of the people.”1
It’s evident the Bereans already acknowledge the authority of God’s Word over them because when Paul’s message was verified by the Scriptures—don’t miss the therefore!—they believed.
The Bereans’ example speaks to each of us Christians: Do we readily acknowledge the authority of God’s Word over us? Do we hold up what we hear to the Scriptures to see if it’s true?
Luke’s record moves on to Athens, Corinth and Ephesus and we’re introduced to Priscilla, Aquila and Apollos. Apollos reminds me of the Bereans. He is preaching boldly in Ephesus, but being only acquainted with the baptism of John, Priscilla and Aquila take him aside and privately explain to him, “the way of God more accurately.” Now notice we don’t have any record that Apollos, who was an eloquent and obviously brilliant man, balked at having to learn from someone else or was insulted when he realized he didn’t know everything. Pride did not hinder his ministry to others, and he went on to be of great help to his fellow Christians in Achaia.
Think about the Bereans and Apollos: their readiness to hear God’s Word and to believe and change when they hear it. What about you?
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1D. J. Wiseman, “Haggai,” The New Bible Commentary: Revised, D. Guthrie, J. A. Motyer, eds., A. M. Stibbs, D. J. Wiseman, contributing eds., p. 783.
Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter