When we left the last time Jason and his companions had been forcibly arrested and later released in an effort to get Paul and Silas. Today we will see what became of them that night. We know they weren’t where they were expected to be; at Jason’s house.
The Holy Spirit and/or the community grapevine were able, once again, to warn Paul of what was coming. The new believers in Thessalonica got Paul and Silas out in time to avoid the mob. They sent them to Berea. This was just a short trip around a cove on the Aegean Sea. Not far enough away to keep the group of miscreants from finding out where they were.
Paul began his outreach to this city the same as he always did; with the Jewish synagogue. I like Luke’s description of them; “these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica” (verse 11). I take that to mean they were more open minded and willing to listen. They also received the truth and searched the scriptures to confirm it for themselves.
The Berean Jews and Gentiles didn’t relegate their Torah time to the Sabbath only. They examined the scriptures daily. They were hungry for the truth Paul and Silas brought. Many of them received the salvation in that city.
But, as usual, Satan had to try and stop what God was doing. The Jews who were after Paul and Silas in Thessalonica came to Berea to stir things up. I’m assuming they were agitating the people who didn’t believe. And they were good at it too. I wonder if they used the same tactic they used in their encounter in their own town; looking to the lower elements in society to do their dirty work.
Paul was in danger again. But this time Silas and Timothy stayed there. There was still much work to be done in establishing this burgeoning group of believers. I’m not sure if that was because it was such a large group or if they didn’t have enough time with them to share all God wanted.
Paul missed Silas and Timothy as soon as they were parted. This separation from friends would be a constant problem for Paul for the rest of his ministry. He had a lot of visitors but none that could stay with him throughout his ordeal. But God used even that for His glory.
We don’t see Paul writing to the Berean church. Were they sharing the letters Paul sent to the Thessalonian church or were they possibly receiving their instructions through Timothy’s letters?
Father God You never promised us an easy road but You do promise to be with us while we walk it. I wonder if Paul ever had an “Elijah moment” where he wanted out (1 Kings 19). YOU gave him the strength he needed to carry on in spite of all the hardships. You do that for me too. My issues aren’t nearly as big as Paul or Elijah’s, but they are still important to You. You carry me through my trials just as faithfully as You did these two men. Thank You Lord for that! Thank You for Your faithfulness.