The notes today are on Acts 17:10-15 and have been written by Paul Lloyd.
Testing the teacher
Paul’s habit of going to the synagogue was not just to “do church”. Synagogues were and still are places to worship God (sadly it is only the Old Testament that is read out) but they were and still are place of learning, teaching and reading the Word of God for Jews. In Paul’s day it was all written on Scrolls and parchments that were very, very expensive and quite large to carry about, unlike today where we can carry the whole of the New and the Old Testament in our pocket or hand bag, it would have needed a large cart to do the same then. Therefore the place to read and study was the synagogue where the scrolls were cared for and looked after by the attendants.
Paul went for three Sabbaths (equivalent to three of our Sundays) to teach about Jesus. These were fair-minded listeners in Thessalonica compared to the previous places they had visited; also they were ready to listen. But even though they were fair-minded they still searched out what Paul was saying against the scriptures. Here’s a thought, if Saul/Paul had been fair-minded and listened to Steven instead of condoning his stoning, the disciples would not have scattered and Paul would not have gone to Europe but that’s another day’s thought.
So what has Paul going to the synagogue on three Sabbaths to teach us today in 2015?
If you come to the morning or evening services at Ebenezer you will hear someone preaching/teaching the word of God for around 30 minutes. We as the listeners are hearing a speaker’s view on what he or she thinks the scriptures are telling him or her, it is their view.
Now this is the crunch question, do we just hear and take at face value that what the speaker is telling us is Gospel Truth? Or do we, as the fair-minded listeners did when Paul spoke, go away to read and study the scriptures ourselves. To check out what they said to see if the speaker’s views align with the Word of God
How do we do this? Well we can start here with the blog or there are the weekly home study groups, or, and this is my favourite because I find it hard to study on my own, invite others for coffee and talk about Jesus, I just love the subject of His love for us.
“It is wonderful when we come to understand the great truths of Bible on our own, but God also has a place and a purpose for teachers among the followers of Jesus” (David Guzik – Enduring Word Media)