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. Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men. (Acts 17:11-12 ESV)
What makes a group of believers “noble” in God’s eyes, so much so that the inspired scriptures would commend this group for all to learn from for the next 2,000 years of history?
The Jews of Berea were such a people. Their “noble” disposition is highlighted because of what they were not and because of what they were. In contrast to the Thessalonians, many of whom were jealous of the apostolic preaching and formed a violent mob against them, the Bereans received the gospel with eagerness. That is, they were open to the truth.
But their noble character is also seen in what they did: they eagerly searched the scriptures to find that what Paul and Silas were saying was true. These Jews valued the scriptures (the Old Testament for us) and collectively examined them to find that this Jesus that Paul presented was indeed the Messiah! It is not so much that the Bereans held Paul and Silas in suspicion and examined them as though they were on trial; rather, they excitedly perused the scrolls in the synagogue to discover that their long-awaited Savior had indeed come!
This heart attitude of coming together around God’s word to find Christ in the scriptures is what made the Bereans noble.
As we come to this text this Sunday, we must ask, does this attitude define us?
Do you eagerly come to the assembly to see how the preaching of Christ aligns with the Word of God? Are you excited about finding Christ in the scriptures? Are we, as a church, open to the truth when it is presented?
Let us come to our Lord’s Day gathering with the same kind of excitement that the Bereans had, for the story of our Savior Jesus Christ never gets old!