On his second missionary journey, Paul encountered people in two different cities in which his preaching of the scriptures was received quite differently. At first glance, the first city Paul visited might seem like the better of the two concerning how they handled the Word of God. However, take a closer look and see that a closer look made all the difference.
The Bible is Worthy to be Heard
This first city Pual visited, that is, in the section of his journey we are highlighting, was Thessalonica. Luke, Pauls companion, recorded that after Paul had preached to the Thessalonians from the scriptures, some were persuaded (Acts 17:1–4). Paul later addressed a letter to the Thessalonians in which he wrote,
And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
Because some of the Thessalonians accepted the Word as inspired from God, Paul was greatly encouraged. Likewise, I am encouraged many reading this post are convinced that the Bible indeed is the inspired revelation of God. I trust the Gospel message within its pages has permeated your life, and that evidence of Grace are multiplying daily. George Müller succinctly states the significance of Scripture in the Christian life when he writes,
The vigor of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Bible in our life and thoughts.
What a thought provoking and sobering statement!
The Bible is Worthy to be Studied
With the scene above in Thessalonica in mind consider the significance of what happens in a neighboring town. Immediately after Paul leaves Thessalonica, he travels to Berea, just down the road (Acts 17). As he began to minister to the people, something fantastic happened. The people did not immediately believe! The people did not immediately accept his teaching, and Paul was encouraged, more encouraged than he was by the Thessalonians. The people who had received the Scriptures as the very words of God!