Many Christian groups and organizations call themselves Bereans, but it is surprising how few people know what a true Berean is.
The 17th chapter of Acts relates how Paul called upon his kinsmen at Thessalonica and for three sabbath days “reasoned with them out of the Scriptures,” trying to show them that Jesus was the Christ.
Steeped in their own religion, however, the majority were unwilling even to consider the truths Paul proclaimed. Indeed, they resented the fact that some did believe and, in their bigotry, “set all the city on an uproar.” Finally Paul’s life was in such peril that the Christians there sent him away by night to Berea, a town about forty miles away.
At Berea Paul again sought out his “kinsmen according to the flesh” — and what a different reception! Here is what the record says:
“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” (Acts 17:11).
These people did not immediately close their eyes to further light. On the contrary, they gave Paul an interested hearing, listening with open minds to what he had to say. But they were not gullible either for, having listened to Paul, they subjected his word to God’s Word, searching the Scriptures daily to see whether those things were so. For this God called them “noble.” They were the true spiritual aristocracy of their day.
We should all be Bereans, spiritually big enough to listen with open minds to the teachings of men, and then big enough too to subject their teachings to the Word of God, the Bible, to see for ourselves whether these things are so. Our Lord said: “Search the Scriptures… for… they… testify of Me” (John 5:39). As we do this we will find eternal life — and more — in Christ.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
“It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles.”
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you’ll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.