“As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Now 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.” (Acts 17:10-11 NIV)
Today’s Bible verses suggest that the Jews in Thessalonica didn’t quite want to accept Paul’s and Silas’ message about Jesus’ resurrection, but in Berea the Jews were curiously more accepting. This acceptance consisted of, first of all, openness. They listened fervently to what Paul and Silas had to say. Secondly, they researched personally the claims made by the traveling preachers, Paul and Silas, if it was in line with what they had learned earlier, and as it was written in the Scriptures.
This is the attitude we need to have today as well. Many different teachings are being presented under the name of Christian faith. We can’t depend on, and swallow each teaching that confronts us. We should absolutely listen with an open mind to what is said in the different worship services, but each Christian must personally take responsibility to test if the message is in tune with the Bible’s complete message.
We must possess such integral knowledge of the Bible that we from that authenticity and the witness within our spirit can discern if the teaching to which we are listening is true or false. And it is what is being said that ought to be judged, not the person saying it.
Jesus, I want to learn from the people in Berea, who took responsibility for what they heard. Help me not to swallow without critique every teaching but rather test them against what You say in Your Word.