“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, 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.” Acts 17:11-12
Let’s compare the Bereans with the Pharisees. Jesus said this about the Pharisees, “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39-40).
What made the difference between the Bereans and the Pharisees?
Both studied the Scriptures but with completely opposite outcomes. The Bereans were noble, meaning they had honest hearts. They were prepared to honestly evaluate their beliefs, acknowledge their shortcomings and realise their need for grace, whereas the Pharisees weren’t. They weren’t prepared to honestly examine their motives or acknowledge their inadequacy to meet God’s standards. They weren’t prepared to accept grace.
It isn’t enough to study the Scriptures, we also have to consider how it applies to us. Jesus said, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:29). Many Bereans did the work of God, they thought about what they read and believed in the one God sent. They came to Jesus and received life. Sadly the Pharisees refused to do this, though Jesus gave them many opportunities to do so.
Let’s do the work of believing, read the Scriptures and consider how it applies to us.