Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11
What springs to mind as you read this verse? For me, the words ‘of more noble character’ caught my attention. The Berean Jews were being praised for their character, not for their position. The word ‘noble’ in this context didn’t mean that they had titles to their name or that they were some sort of royalty. Being noble obviously, isn’t reserved for the blue bloods who have inherited a title. The Greek word ‘eugenes’ or ‘noble’ as translated here does mean well-born, but few think of being noble in the way the Bereans were. They may not have had a noble birth, but they had noble character. They were praised because of two character traits:
- Being eager to receive the Word
- They made a point of double checking what they were hearing.
The ‘double-checkers’ of the Christian world are sometimes maligned. They might be called cynical, doubters or sometimes legalistic but does that mean that what they are doing is wrong? Take a look at this verse again. The Berean Jews wanted to learn as much as they possibly could, they received the message with eagerness. They weren’t some cranky critical chronically OCD people; the Bereans were excited about what they were hearing. Their eagerness was as distinct as their desire for accuracy.
Are you of noble character?
How do you receive God’s Word? It’s all too easy to pour a cup of coffee, open your Bible set out your notebook and take a picture for Instagram. Are you eager to dive into the depths of what God is communicating to you?
Matthew 5:6 ESV
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
What do you do with the message that you hear?
If you listen to a message are you willing to go one step further and search the scriptures for yourself to make sure that what you are hearing is true?
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.