Lord, I bow before You now and say with the boy Samuel “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening” (1 Sam 3:9).
Read Acts 17:1-15
 When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.  As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,  explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said.  Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.  But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.  But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here,  and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.”  When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil.  Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.  As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue.  Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.  As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.  But when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, some of them went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up.  The believers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea.  Those who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat was so commendable about the Bereans?
In today’s passage, we see him talking to Jews and God-fearing Gentiles (non-Jews who nevertheless believed in the God of the Jews). Over several weeks, Paul presents the gospel message to them using as his starting point the Jewish Scriptures which were familiar to them. However, despite the time and care Paul gives to presenting his message, his listeners’ reactions are quite varied! As we, too, share the message of Jesus with others, we will encounter similar responses to those in this passage. Some people are like the Jews of Thessalonica (5), becoming angry and defensive. Others, such as the God-fearers and prominent women (4), will believe! Still others will be like the Bereans (11), testing our message to see if it is true. Some of these will eventually come to faith, others will not. Paul’s role—like ours today—was to keep sharing the message in a relevant way, whether his listeners chose to believe it or to reject it. God does not hold us accountable for people’s reactions to our message; he only calls us to be faithful in sharing it.
Pray again for those with whom you are sharing or have shared the Good News about Jesus.
Lord Jesus, I want to be faithful in doing what I can to share You with others. Help me not to worry about their reactions.
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