ODJ: Testing for Truth

April 30, 2017 

READ: Acts 17:1-12 

They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth (v.11).

We’ve had some uninvited houseguests for years. I’m talking about clear that they’re unwelcome, they keep coming ants. Although we’ve tried to make it clear that they’re unwelcome, they keep coming over unannounced. We’ve found only one thing that prevents them from stopping by every day—a mixture of poison and sugar sprinkled around the perimeter of our home. Combining the two ingredients means that the ants gobble up the toxin along with the sweet stuff, and experience the lethal results.

When Paul and Silas spoke about Jesus and His resurrection in a Berean synagogue, the people there didn’t simply swallow what they were served—although the message was enticing. Rather, they “searched the Scriptures . . . to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth” (Acts 17:11).

Although Paul used the Scriptures to support the idea that Jesus was the Messiah (vv.2-3), the Bereans didn’t take the apostle’s word for it—even though Paul was Jewish just like they were! (Philippians 3:5). They unrolled their scrolls, read and processed the words for themselves. This went on day after day. Ultimately their study led many of them to accept Paul’s message (Acts 17:12). The people of Berea were aware that it could be hard to discern what’s entirely true as opposed to what is mostly true.

We who know the truth about Jesus and His resurrection will encounter all kinds of so-called ‘divine’ ideas. Will we critique these concepts based on what’s in the Bible, or base our opinions on what seems right to us or convenient to believe? When we’re searching for an accurate understanding of our world, God’s Holy Spirit will guide us (John 16:13) and His Word will “teach us what is true” (2 Timothy 3:16).

—Jennifer Benson Schuldt

365-day plan: Nehemiah 5:1-19

Look up John 4:29-30 and Acts 10:30-33 to see some examples of people who were hungry for spiritual truth. 
Is the Bible the highest source of authority in your life? Why or why not?