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Being Good Bereans by Pastor Jeremy Collins

Acts 17

Throughout Acts, the Apostle Paul is met with opposition that ranges from intellectual to abusive to violent. Acts 17 shows reactions to Paul's preaching in three cities: Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens. In every case, people—both Jews and Gentiles—wrestled with Paul's news about the resurrected Jesus.

In Thessalonica, there were some Jews and a large number of Gentiles who heard and followed Paul. There were other Jews who formed a mob to riot in the city. The mob failed to find Paul but they arrested Paul's friends for promoting a king other than Caesar. Of course, that king is Jesus!

In Athens, Paul met Gentiles who loved to entertain philosophical debates, especially new philosophies. Paul found common ground to open a conversation that led to Jesus. Paul sets an example for how we can talk with unbelievers about Jesus.

The Jews in Berea studied and consulted the scriptures to answer their questions about God and life. Luke writes this about the Bereans:

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.

The Bereans offer us a picture of our best relationship to the scriptures. The Bereans tested the truths espoused by teachers. They used the scriptures as the test for truth. Your pastors invite you to question - from the scriptures - what they preach and teach. We desire to see an eagerness to examine the Scriptures. The scriptures come alive when we increase our familiarity with them by reading, meditating, and discussing them with fellow disciples of Jesus.

When you read Acts 17, may you come away with a desire to be a good Berean!

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