Three Kinds of Hearers
Acts 17 describes three stops on Paul’s second missionary journey. Each one depicts different reactions the “religious” tend to have. First was Thessalonica, a large enough city to have a synagogue. Verse 5 shows the strong reaction of the leaders, closed minded arrogance. They were unwilling to listen to anything different to what they had been taught all their lives. They were more concerned with tradition and their heritage than they were the Truth.
The third stop was Athens, a philosophical mecca. Verse 21 explains they were basically obsessed with new ideas. They latched on to whatever sounded good with no basis for truth or commitment to it. In between these two cities was Beroea. Verse 11 says it all; they were “more noble than those in Thessalonica.” They were eager to hear any new word or understanding revealed by God, but they based their judgment on the scriptures.
Unfortunately, we still all three of these groups in the church today – the closed minded, the empty minded, and the noble. Which one are you? Does pride keep you from seeing anything differently? Are you always looking for the best feel-good idea? Are you willing to admit you might be looking through a glass dimly (1 Cor 13:12)?