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Acts 17:1-14 – Thessalonica and Berea

The next two stops on Paul’s mission around the Aegean Sea is Thessalonica and Berea. As in many places, Paul goes to a synagogue and proclaims Jesus. Some Jews are persuaded and a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women. This causes the unbelieving Jews to become jealous and stir up the unbelieving Gentiles against the gospel. As in Philippi the issue of the Christians being un-Roman is raised – they are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.

Leaving Thessalonica, they then go to Berea. The same pattern occurs – preaching in the synagogue, many Jews believe, so do many Greeks and prominent Greek women, unbelieving Jews stir up unbelieving Gentiles, Paul moves on to another place.

The difference though in the accounts is that whereas in Thessalonica only some Jews believed, in Berea many Jews believe. Luke says that this was because the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians. How or on what way? Because they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Clearly, we should model ourselves on these Berean Jews.