Receiving the Word With Great Eagerness

“The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.”

–Acts 17:10–11 NASB

All Christians should “receive the word with great eagerness,” but what exactly does that mean? If we were to take the phrase by itself, we might conclude that it means taking the word at face value and not asking any questions or applying any critical thought. Fortunately, though, Luke does not give us the phrase by itself. He provides an additional qualifying phase that tells exactly what he means by “received the word with great eagerness.”

Luke tells us that the way the Bereans received the word with great eagerness was by “examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things [spoken by Paul] were so.” Think about that for a moment. Examining the Scriptures to determine whether the things spoken by the minister of the word is the way in which the word is received with great eagerness.

The lesson here is short and simple. Anyone who hears the word of God proclaimed by the mouth of a man has the obligation to examine the written word of God in order to determine whether the words spoken by the minister are congruent with the written word of God.

Tyrants would have us think otherwise. They wish us to accept their spoken word as if it were the very word of God without asking any questions. While it is true that we must accept the spoken word as if it were the very word of God, we must only do so when the spoken word is actually the word of God. There is only one way to determine if the spoken word is the word of God. That is by examining the Scriptures to see if the things spoken are congruent with what is written.

So, I encourage all Christians everyone to be Berean and accept the word of God with great eagerness by examining the Scriptures carefully to see if the things spoken by the minister are congruent with the words written in the Bible.

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