10 As soon as it was night, the brothers and sisters sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. Upon arrival, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 The people here were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, since they received the word with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Consequently, many of them believed, including a number of the prominent Greek women as well as men. 13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica found out that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul at Berea, they came there too, agitating and upsetting the crowds. 14 Then the brothers and sisters immediately sent Paul away to go to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed on there. 15 Those who escorted Paul brought him as far as Athens, and after receiving instructions for Silas and Timothy to come to him as quickly as possible, they departed. — Acts 17:10-15
What’s in a Name?
by Andy Beal
Station Hill Campus
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was a young boy running with my friends through the hallways of the small Baptist church in my home town. This was back in the days when Sunday School classes gave themselves names. They weren’t just the “young marrieds class” or the “senior adult ladies class.” They had names like “The Seekers” or “The Lamplighters” or “Homebuilders.” But there was one classroom that sparked my curiosity. It was a class of senior adult men who called themselves “The Bereans.” I remember thinking, “What in the world is a Berean?” It wasn’t until many years later when I read Acts 17 that I understood why this group of older men would want to be known as “The Bereans.”
In Acts 17 we find ourselves smack in the middle of Paul’s second missionary journey. This chapter alone covers three different locations: Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens. As has been the pattern in his ministry, Paul has ventured to unreached places to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. He shares the message with the Jews in the synagogues and with the Gentiles in the marketplaces, and each time he is ultimately run out of town due to a riot or a threat to his life.
But in Berea, he initially encounters something different. Luke, the writer of Acts, records that the Bereans:
- Were a people of noble character.
- Received the word with eagerness.
- Examined the Scriptures to see if the things Paul was teaching were true.
- As a result, many of them believed.
Wow! No wonder this group of senior adult men aspired to be like the Bereans. It’s a convicting list to consider for ourselves today.
It’s my prayer for us today that by God’s grace and through the working of His Spirit within us, we too will follow the pattern of the Bereans and invite others to do the same.
- Do I possess noble character?
- Am I eager to receive the Word, or is reading and studying the Bible seen more as a chore?
- Do I examine the Scriptures for myself, or do I unwisely put myself at the mercy of other teachers by believing everything I’m taught without studying it for myself?
- Is this pattern leading me to a deeper and more powerful belief in the gospel?
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.