The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men. But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Berea also, they came there too, agitating and stirring up the crowds. Then the brothers immediately sent Paul off on his way to the sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there. Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens, and after receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they departed.
Understanding And Applying the Text
The Jews threatened everyone associated with Paul in Thessalonica. A mob even dragged everyone out of the house where Paul was staying. So, the brothers sent Paul and Silas on their way. The Thessalonians brothers were not trying to get rid of a problem. Their concerned was for Paul and Silas’ safety.
Paul’s consistency is remarkable. He experienced beating and imprisonment. He experienced false charges. He suffered the hatred of his own kindred. Yet he does not stop. He preached Christ anywhere and everywhere. He preached to both Jews and Gentiles.
Christians must withstand the world’s hatred. We must bear Christ’s yoke regardless of injuries and suffering.
Paul and Silas went to Berea. Berea was fifty miles southwest of Thessalonica. It was in the foothills of the Olympian Mountains.
Luke commended the Bereans. They received the gospel with a ready heart. They listened to Paul. But then they verified want he said squared with scripture. They did not go to scripture to prove Paul right or wrong. They went to scripture to find the truth.
Luke tells us as a result that many Bereans believed. Besides Jews several high standing gentile women and men believed. Luke does not say all the Bereans believe. He says many believed. He does not even say most of the Bereans believed. The church was still a minority.
The Jews in Thessalonica heard about Paul preaching in Berea. They wanted it stopped. They not only want the gospel not preached in
Berea welcomed Paul and Silas. The Jews came with violence. Yet throughout the books of Acts Paul never fights back. He suffers the injustice. They run him out of town after town. Yet Paul never fights back. He never raises a mob to fight the injustice. The gospel is not spread by the sword. Paul spread the gospel by preaching.
Once again Paul leaves town. But this time he leaves behind Silas and Timothy. Some of the Berean brothers went with him to the coast. They stayed with Paul until he arrived in Athens. At Athens, Paul sent them back and asked for them to send Silas and Timothy.