Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11
When you are travelling by train does the thought ever occur to you ‘I wonder if the driver knows where they are going?’
Please be assured that before any driver is allowed in the cab of a train on their own they have to pass what is called their ‘Route knowledge.’ It is very much the same as a London cabbie learning ‘The knowledge.’ Drivers have to know every inch of the route they are travelling as well as the risks associated with it; the list is pretty extensive; it includes obvious things like stations, tunnels and signals. However most importantly a driver must know where particular signals at junctions will take them. These signals will come with additional indicators in the form of lights fitted to them to show which route the signaller has set.
Signallers are not infallible and neither are drivers. It has been known for a signaller to set the route incorrectly (apologies to any signallers reading this) and worse still some drivers have taken these routes and ended up in all manner of uncharted territory of routes they don’t know (for the sake of balance, apologies to any train drivers reading this). All of these lead to an awful lot of problems later on.
In the early church there were all manner of different things being taught and as we see from our Bibles the apostles had to spend a lot of time correcting these teachings that were contrary to the basic message, for instance works versus faith, food offered to idols, and circumcision to name but a few.
Sadly the nature of us fallible humans has never changed, we are still capable of being swayed by all manner of things, they might come from very persuasive and charismatic preachers who are as Matthew 7 v15 warns us ‘Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.’We might also be inclined to follow the crowd irrespective of where they are going and who they are following and further on in Matthew 15 v14 ‘If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.’
So what do we do to stop us being ‘Wrong routed’? A dear old saint once gave me an invaluable piece of scripture from Acts which refers to the church at Berea when Paul preached to them. Simply, after they had heard his message they got into their scriptures (which for them was the Old Testament) to see if it measured up to what was being preached. We will never be able to spend enough time reading and meditating on scripture, but we do need to make sure that when we hear something that doesn’t quite seem right we check that it does not fly in the face of the word God has given us.
So, today be a Berean!