The Bible tells us of a remarkable group of people famously known today as the Berean Christians. These believers lived in a place called Berea (thus the name), and they possessed a remarkable character that each and every Christian today must have. Who are they and what can we learn from them?
Let's take a quick look at the Bereans.
Meet the Bereans
The Bible speaks to us about the Bereans in Acts 17:10-15. At this time, Paul and Silas were making their way along different territories preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all men. Upon arriving at Berea, we read that they first looked for the Jews there.
"Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews." (Acts 17:10)
From here we see that the Bereans weren't believers in Christ when Paul and Silas met them. They were Jews who had one remarkable trait:
"These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so." (Acts 17:11)
From here it's clear to us that the Bereans, though they haven't met Christ yet, have already established the all-important habit and discipline of reading and studying the Scriptures daily. They were a people whose standard for authority and truth was the very word of God, though they hadn't met the word made flesh yet.
Unlike other Jews, the Bereans were quick to receive the message that Paul and Silas brought them, but they weren't naïve - they didn't take Paul's word for it, but "searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so."
They were a people who held Scripture in such a high regard that it became their daily pursuit, their source of truth, the only reference book or material they would read in search of what is true.
Because they were familiar with the word of God, they saw the truth of Paul's message about the Lord Jesus Christ, and they believed:
"Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men." (Acts 17:12)
Later we read that Paul and Silas' persecutors also followed them in an attempt to disrupt their work of preaching the word of God. The Bereans, now Christians, responded quickly to protect Paul by sending him away, to be followed by Silas and Timothy quickly.
What can we learn from them
So what can we learn from the Berean Christians? Here are a few important things:
1) We need to make the word of God our sole basis for truth and error
So many Christians today run to sources other than the Bible. There's no better, more accurate and infallible source of Godly instruction other than the Bible itself.
2) We need to diligently search the Scriptures daily
This isn't about having daily devotions; this is about having our daily rations. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself said "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work" (see John 4:34). Let's follow His example.
3) We will be ready to receive God's truth when we soak ourselves in His word
The Bereans were ready for the truth of the Gospel of Christ because they kept searching God's word for truth. When Paul and Silas came preaching the Gospel to them, many of them were quick to see the reality of Jesus Christ and believed in Him. Wow!
Such readiness for God's new things can only come to those who soak themselves in God's word. Let's all devour the word of God like an infant craves for milk (see 1 Peter 2:2)