Bible Reading Day 194
Day 194: July 13 (Acts 17:1-15)
Today’s reading picks up from Paul and Silas leaving Philippi, and follows them to Thessalonica, then on to Berea. See map.
There is a clear contrast which provides us with an important lesson. The Thessalonian Jews are against Paul, having already decided he is a troublemaker and a heretic. They are so determined to stop his preaching that they have his host arrested and dragged before the city council. You can’t argue with certainty, and a closed mind is one of the most secure fortresses you can find! So Paul and Silas leave Thessalonica and move on to Berea.
Luke records the contrast: “the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.”
The Bereans were willing to consider reconciling new information with what they already knew in scripture, even though it was challenging to do so. The Greek word translated readily (or eagerly) is prothumia, which means a willingness to hear and reconcile what is heard with what is already known. The Thessalonians, however, twisted the truth to fit their preconceived notions.
We have seen many occasions where trouble follows the gospel, and today’s account includes another. The Thessalonian Jews come to Berea to stir up trouble for Paul, and he moves on as far as Athens, where he sends word back to Silas and Timothy to come and join him.
So how does this apply to us? Are we open-minded and willing to examine new things in the light of scripture? Are you ready to learn today? If we are not, we are likely to find ourselves opposing God!
Have a great day!