No Free Lunch Here!

Will Robinson

11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11 (NIV)

In this passage, Luke, the author of the book of Acts, (bet you thought it was Paul, didn’t you?) declares one group of people as being better than another group. Is this racism? Not a trace! Both groups, the Bereans and Thessalonians, were Jewish. Race, class nor ethnicity ever entered into the discussion. The reason the Bereans were singled out as being of more noble character was because of their eagerness to willingness to examine the Word and their eagerness to obey the Word.
These Bereans were highly esteemed because there were not lazy! They received the Word with excitement, but they also challenged Paul and Silas for accuracy and authenticity. No preacher or teacher is above scrutiny. And no believer should allow themselves the luxury of accepting anything they here at face value. The Word of God is inerrant and infallible. But men are not. Thus, every man should be tested by the veracity of God’s Word. And you, the believer, are responsible for verifying the integrity of those presenting the Word to you!

In this passage, Luke, the author of the book of Acts, (bet you thought it was Paul, didn’t you?) declares one group of people as being better than another group. Is this racism? Not a trace! Both groups, the Bereans and Thessalonians, were Jewish. Race, class nor ethnicity ever entered into the discussion. The reason the Bereans were singled out as being of more noble character was because of their eagerness to willingness to examine the Word and their eagerness to obey the Word.

The word “examined” that Dr. Luke uses in this passage was used in a forensic sense and applied to the thorough questioning and investigation of a prisoner by a judge. Luke, being a trained physician himself, also knew quite a bit about examinations. He was accustomed to very detailed physical examinations of his patients. And these examinations had to be exhaustive because they involved life or death consequences. The Bereans employed that same tenacious approach to examining the scriptures in order to make sure they were being told the truth. This was not a hit or miss practice either. They searched the scriptures DAILY!!!

As believers today, we need to emulate the noble character of the Bereans and examine the ministries that we hear and hold them accountable to God’s Word.

We must become critical thinkers. That includes doing our research and checking out everything we hear and read. Critical thinking is not for the purpose of finding fault, but to insure against being deceived or misled by false teaching. Paul issued this stern warning to young Timothy and to us today:

15 Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. 16Avoid godless, foolish discussions that lead to more and more ungodliness. 2 Tim.2:15-16 (NLT)