Tuesday: Thessalonica and Berea

When Paul and Silas were released from prison, the missionaries departed from Philippi (Acts 16:35-40). From Philippi, Paul and his companions went straight to Thessalonica, the capital city of Macedonia.

Read Acts 17:1-9. How did the Thessalonian Jews react to Paul’s successful preaching among the Gentiles?

Speaking the Truth

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Once again we see Paul looking for the synagogue where he could share the gospel. Many devout Greeks and not a few prominent women were persuaded by Paul’s message. That these converts “joined Paul and Silas” (Acts 17:4, NKJV) seems to mean they formed a separate group and met apart from the synagogue, probably in Jason’s house.

Moved with jealousy, their opponents started a riot. Their intention was to bring Paul and Silas—Timothy is not mentioned—before the city’s assembly and accuse them. As they could not find the missionaries, Jason himself and a few other new believers were dragged to the local authorities under the charge of sheltering political agitators.

Read Acts 17:10-15. What was the response of the Berean Jews in comparison to that in Thessalonica?

The term eugenes (Acts 17:11) originally meant “well born” or “of noble birth” but came to denote more generally a “fair-minded” attitude, which is likely the case here. The Jews from Berea are praised not simply because they agreed with Paul and Silas but because of their willingness to examine the Scriptures by themselves and on a daily basis to see if what the missionaries were saying was correct. A merely emotional response to the gospel, without the necessary intellectual conviction, tends to be superficial and short-lived.

Before long, however, persecution interrupted Paul’s productive ministry in Berea, compelling him to move farther south, to Athens.

When was the last time you diligently searched the Scriptures in order to find out “whether these things [whatever they were] were so”?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons