10 “The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.” (Acts 17:10–12)
What does it mean to be known as a Berean? I wonder how many churches in America have the title “Berean” in their name.
In the context of today’s passage, the City of Berea, known today as Verria, was located approximately 50 miles (80 km) southwest of Thessalonica and in the foothills of the Olympian Mountains. Rome conquered Berea in 168 bc. Berea was one of the most populated Macedonian cities in the time of Christ.
Following the riotous behavior in Thessalonica against the Gospel in general, and the Apostle Paul in particular, the Thessalonian Christians quickly sent Paul and Silas at night to the City of Berea. When the two of them arrived in Berea, they immediately went in to the Jewish synagogue.
The Berean Jews were much more receptive to the Gospel. Unlike the Thessalonian Jews, the Jews in Berea received the preaching by Paul with much eagerness. They would examine the Scriptures on a daily basis to verify what Paul and Silas were preaching.
The result was that many Jews were converted along with several Greek women and men. The truth of the Gospel was spreading in Macedonia.
Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “The Bereans gave Paul’s teaching an open hearing and compared it with God’s written Word. Because of their integrity and discernment, many of them came to faith in Jesus the Christ.”
Like the Bereans, may each of us give every message were hear an open hearing and compare it with God’s Word. May our integrity and discernment be like the Berean’s.
Soli deo Gloria!