“A deadly jungle spider has migrated to the US and is killing people.” This was the story sent to me and to others on my friend’s email list. The story sounded plausible—lots of scientific names and real-life situations. But when I checked it out on reliable websites, I found it was not true—it was an Internet hoax. Its truth could only be verified by consulting a trusted source.
A group of first-century believers living in Macedonia understood the importance of confirming what they were hearing. The folks in Berea “received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). They were listening to Paul, and wanted to make sure what he was saying lined up with the teachings of the Old Testament. Perhaps he was telling them that there was evidence in the Old Testament that the Messiah would suffer and die for sin. They needed to verify that with the source.
When we hear spiritual ideas that disturb us, we need to be cautious. We can search the Scriptures for ourselves, listen to trustworthy sources, and seek wisdom from Jesus, our Lord.
Please give us discernment, Lord, to accept only truth that is rooted in Your Word. We praise You for preserving the inspired Scriptures for us—now help us to use them to seek You.
For help in understanding and applying the Bible, read A Message for All Time at discoveryseries.org/hp142
God’s truth stands any test.
The book of Acts is largely concerned with the beginnings of the Christian church and specifically with the conversion and subsequent missionary efforts of Paul. Today’s short passage underscores the fact that the gospel is open to all. In verse 12 Luke specifically mentions Greek men and women among those who believed at Berea. Because Paul was teaching in a Jewish synagogue (v. 10), this is a remarkable statement about the universal offer of salvation. J.R. Hudberg