(11) “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 such things were so! (12) Therefore, many of them believed…” 1Th.17:11-12

It is interesting to observe the context of this familiar passage of scripture. Paul and Silas had just been compelled to leave Philippi — and, therefore, they journeyed to Thessalonica. Upon arriving there — they entered, on a Sabbath day — into a local synagogue of the Jews. For three Sabbath days — Paul preached unto them out of the scriptures the pure truth of the gospel that is brought forward from them about the eternal Christ. He taught that this truth is all bound up in the actual person and work of Jesus. He — is the true Christ of God!

Some out of the crowd that were present, it says, were convinced by Paul and Silas. Some Greeks and women — that is — but the Jews, for the most part, remained unbelievers. In fact, they put together a make shift mob of vulgar and violent men — and created an uproar with the intention of assaulting them at the house of Jason! Having converged on Jason’s home — and searching for them there — they did not find them. So, they took Jason and certain other brethren who happened to be with him — and brought them before the rulers of the city with accusations against Paul and Silas! Since they were not with them — Jason and the brethren were released.

The scripture says they immediately sent Paul and Silas away — who then traveled to Berea. Once they arrived there — guess what they did? They went straight to the local synagogue of the Jews — and preached the same gospel message. This was the life and experience of the evangelizing servants of the Lord in the first century. This is the providential context that God’s sovereignty led them to the descriptive text above.

The Holy Spirit of God who led them through the fiery afflictions of their time in both Philippi and Thessalonica — now brought them into — by comparison — the open and welcoming arms of the believers in Berea. Hence, Dr. Luke says of them — that they were more noble, or more generous, that those of Thessalonica — because they — obviously by a work of prevenient grace by the Holy Spirit — received the word from them — with all “readiness of mind”– or, with eagerness of inclination. This reception was not natural! The natural man “receives not the things of the Spirit of God” (1Co.2:14) — but rather considers them to be foolish. But, not the Bereans — their hearts and minds had been prepared by the Lord to receive His blessed gospel when it was ably and purely preached unto them. They went further — and manifested the presence of the life changing grace of faith — and “searched the scriptures daily” — to see whether those things that were being preached unto them were true! Therefore, it says — that many believed! “Faith cometh by hearing — and hearing by the Word of God” (Ro.10:17). Praise the Lord!

For Christ’s Glory Only!
John Carpenter

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