‘You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,’ John 5:39
At first sight there does not seem to have been so much difference between the Jews in Thessalonica and those in Berea. In both cities, they listened attentively to Paul’s testimony; in both cities, there were many who believed. And yet it is said of the Jews of Berea that they were of more noble character then the Jews of Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
What then was the essential difference?
In Berea there was an open mind. There was willingness to receive something new. In Thessalonica there was conceitedness and, therefore, a critical spirit.
How easily we block out the things we are facing, simply because they are different from what we are used to. Actually, it is our fear of losing the weak foundation of our faith that makes us take a critical stance toward things we do not yet know.
If our faith in Jesus Christ is nothing more than adhering to church doctrine, we will often reject everything that does not conform to that doctrine, just like the Pharisees in the days of Jesus. But faith is more than upholding a doctrine. For the scriptures do not testify of a truth, but of the Christ Himself.
When Paul gave testimony of the living Lord, his words had power, and with a new hunger the people of Berea examined the Scriptures. Those who open the Bible in this spirit, will find that their hearts begin to glow with happiness, because they will recognize the testimony of His witnesses.