Don’t be like the Thessalonians. Paul’s trip to Thessalonica was not an entirely pleasant one. Some of the Thessalonian Jews were not what one would call hospitable. Paul’s Good News that Jesus was the Messiah brought out their jealous natures. After all, Paul was upsetting the status quo with this new revelation. Paul and his companion Silas were forced to leave in the middle of the night in order to escape an angry mob. The mob even followed them to the nearby town of Berea and stirred up trouble when Paul began to preach in that city as well.
Despite their best efforts, the Thessalonian mob could not stop Paul’s message from influencing the Berean Jews. The Bereans listened and they searched the scriptures to see if what Paul was saying was accurate. They did not reject or accept his message hastily, but with careful study, they saw that what Paul said was true and they believed.
There are so many messages about God out there in our world. It’s hard to know what is true and what is merely opinion. Jealousy, fear, pride, or misunderstandings about God’s character can lead us into false beliefs.
In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonian believers, he mentioned how they believed and served despite tremendous persecution. Indeed, those believers might have been persecuted by the same ones who stirred up trouble for Paul and Silas. Paul also wrote to encourage the Thessalonian believers to test new ideas, or “prophecies” instead of automatically rejecting them (1 Thess. 5:20-21).
Modern Christians can take a cue from the “noble” Berean Jews of the first century. Start the search for truth with the Scriptures. Test what you hear by measuring it against the inerrant Word of God, which is the eternal Truth.
Lord, may your Word and your Spirit guide me to what is true. Amen.
Go Deeper ― When you hear someone say something that you had not heard before in regards to scripture, search it out. Use a Concordance, read the notes in a study Bible, or read the opinion of reputable scholars.
Photo Credit: Nick Tong