Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Acts 17:10-12

Summary retelling of Acts 17:10-12

The folks in Thessalonica send Paul and his friends to Berea in order to escape the persecution.  The Jews in Berea received Paul well.  They examined the scriptures daily together to find truth for their life.  Many people believed – people of high station in the community as well as regular folks.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
The people in Thessalonica get Paul and his friends out of town.  They are concerned about Paul’s safety.  If the people in Thessalonica have proven that they would riot once (and incite rabble) it is likely that they will do it again.  Sometimes when the people prove that they are unwilling to listen, it is best to “get out of Dodge.”

How easy is it to see Paul and his friends as abandoning the hard work in Thessalonica?  Is this the right perspective?  How do we know when to run and when to stay put and endure the persecution?

Second Thought:
Berea is the other church that God uses Paul to found that is considered an incredible success (Philippi being the other).  Look at what we are told makes Berea great.  The people in Berea came together to examine scripture daily.  They came with open minds rather than an agenda to prove.  Want to be close with other Christians?  Study God’s word with them on a regular basis – daily if possible!

Think about a time in your life when you weren’t studying God regularly with at least someone else – how spiritual were you?  Now think about how life is like now that you study God’s Word daily with someone else – how spiritual are you?  Why is it inherently easier to be spiritual when we are in God’s Word daily?

Third Thought:
Many believed.  As Luke writes Acts, he seems to focus a fair amount on the wealthy and the leading people of the towns.  This might seem like Luke is elitist.  However, remember that when Luke is writing this, Christianity is just a fledgling movement.  Most people had never heard about it.  Luke needs to write that there are people of all walks of life coming to Christianity to help validate that anyone feeling called to God can come regardless of their walk of life.  This would be especially important among the wealthy, because so much of being wealthy is about “keeping up with appearances.”  Luke needs to be able to convince people that becoming Christian can be “normal.”

What might these comments by Luke be telling us about Theophilus (Luke’s financier)?  How might these comments that Luke makes about “leading people in a community” help inform us about the group of people that Theophilus hangs out with?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 17:13-15
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