Let God’s Word be a lamp unto our feet (Ps 119:105)…
The Berean church (from the city of Berea – in Macedonia, northern Greece) set the right example.
It can be very difficult to know what is true and what isn’t.
We often can feel a bit overwhelmed and exhausted by all the fact checking that is required for us to discern what is true.
First of all the Bible tells us that TRUTH is a Person (see John 14:6), and so in our quest to decern TRUTH we need to start with the Living Word Himself, who is Jesus the Christ (Messiah).
We are CONSTANTLY receiving new information: articles shared over mass media and on social media – from Facebook, opinions on Twitter, advertisements on Instagram, books, movies, app notifications…the list goes on and on.
Let’s look at Acts 17:10-12 and see how the Bereans handled all the information they were receiving.
“As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 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. As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.”
— Acts 17:10-12
The Bereans weren’t unaware of the pressure to have correct information.
With the news Paul and Silas were spreading about Jesus, everyone was on edge.
The Gospel challenged the current thought trends on religion, politics, socioeconomics, and more.
So, choosing sides was a lot more threatening than picking Democrat or Republican.
This decision was religious rulers versus Jesus, Rome versus Jesus, cultural values versus Jesus…and behinds the scenes, Satan versus Jesus.
But in Acts 17:10-12, we see Luke write something attention-grabbing. He lifts the Berean Jews up as an example for all of us to follow.
Why did he choose to say this, out of all the people they met on their journey?
A very important characteristic stood out to him, when it came to the Berean Church — a very important one.
The scriptures tell us,
“These were more NOBLE than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
When everything they were taught was challenged by the Gospel, they didn’t run away plugging their ears or start shouting over Paul and Silas.
No, rather with eagerness and a willing mind they began the process of fact checking, to see by examining the scriptures themselves, whether the Old Testament (Tanakh) really did prophecy Jesus to be the Messiah.
In the end, they discovered the Gospel to be true and became followers of Jesus.
How can we be like the Bereans in times like this, where sometimes our long held doctrinal and religious beliefs and values are being challenged?
In scripture, we are admonished to RIGHTLY divide the truth:
2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Here are some other recommendations that might be helpful;
- Don’t lose your temper
- Have a willing mind
- Listen to what others are saying
- Evaluate the claims others make
- Compare what we hear with Scripture
- Consider if some of your long-held interpretations of Scripture need to be re-examined
- Ask some friends to join you in your research
- Rinse and repeat
Come join the Adventure!