Friday, July 3, 2015

Lesson - The Difference In The Thessalonians And The Bereans

VERSES:   Acts 17:1-15

MEMORY VERSE:   Acts 17:11  "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (This verse was chosen as the memory verse because it shows us how we should be as Bible students and how our minds should be when directed to God's Word. Please shorten the verse if it is too long for your students to memorize.)

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   2 Timothy. Write "2 Timothy" on small slips of paper and hand out to the students at the end of class, so they may go home and memorize another good book from the New Testament.

PRAYER:  Pray that we all realize how precious God's Word is to us. It gives us Light, guides our way, and comforts us. May we love the Bible with all of our heart.

SPECIAL SONG:   Read, Read Every Day (see February 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #1 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Bible map; Activity (see Activity below)

  • As Paul and those in his group made their way from Lydia's house in Philippi  to Amphipolis and to Appolonia, they finally came to a city called Thessalonica. It was Paul's habit to meet with those who were in the synagogue when he first arrived in a city and that is what he did in Thessalonica. For three sabbath days, Paul studied the scriptures with them, teaching that Jesus was the Christ. Some of the Jews believed and joined Paul and Silas. Even a great crowd of Greeks and many of the important women believed Paul's words.
  • But most of the Jews did not believe Paul and did not believe that Jesus was the Christ. They were filled with envy and jealousy and took Paul and Silas to men who had low moral standards or were tricky and sneaky. The Jews gathered a huge rowdy crowd and put the whole city in an uproar. Things got out of hand! They attacked Jason's house where Paul and Silas had been staying. The Jews wanted Paul and Silas to come out of Jason's house, but they could not find the two men. Instead, the Jews took Jason and other brethren to the rulers of the city and accused them of housing the men who had turned the world upside down! Because they were preaching about Jesus, the Jews reported that the men were doing things against Caesar and saying that there was another king named Jesus! It troubled the people of the city when they heard what the Jews were saying. When they had taken money from Jason and the others, the rulers let them go. 
  • Immediately, the brethren sent Paul and Silas away by night to the city of Berea. Do you know what Paul did first? He went to the synagogue where people were meeting and started preaching! Paul was not afraid of what man might do to him. He knew that he was pleasing God by preaching about Jesus, His only begotten Son!
  • The people in Berea were different. They were more noble than the people were in Thessalonica because they listened closely to what Paul said and looked up the scriptures he quoted in the Old Testament law and prophets. Many of the people believed. Some were honorable Greek women who believed, but a great many men who believed were Jews. 
  • Then trouble came to Paul and Silas again! When those Jews who lived in Thessalonica heard that Paul was preaching about Jesus again, but this time in Berea, they did exactly what they had already done in their own hometown. They stirred the people up who lived in Berea! 
  • Paul had to leave again because it was not safe for him! While Silas and Timothy stayed in Berea, Paul was the only one who went by ship and traveled to Athens. When Paul arrived in Athens, he sent word back with those who took him to Athens by ship to tell Silas and Timothy to hurry and come to him in Athens. So, Paul was in Athens, but his friends, Silas and Timothy were in Berea.
"Older Student" Tips:

  • Discuss the definition of 'noble.' Synonyms for 'noble:'  honorable, having a good reputation, righteous.
  • Read Acts 17:11. The church in Berea was a church who studied God's Word. They did not take Paul's words for truth without checking it out first. They did not have a Bible like we have today, but they had parchments and scrolls and made certain that Paul was telling the truth. They also had ready minds to receive God's Word. They had great attitudes towards the Word of God.
  • By commenting on how noble the Bereans were in their searching the scriptures, we learn that the Thessalonicans were not as diligent as the Bereans. We want to be like the Bereans in our Bible study!
  • Not only was the church in Berea a church who studied, but they studied daily! Every day they were interested in what God had to say! That is exactly how we should be! 
  • Read Hosea 4:6, Matthew 22:29, John 8:32. Why should we study? To keep from error. To not be destroyed. To know truth.

ACTIVITY:   Review Cards
Materials:  20 index 3" x 5" index cards or construction paper cut into 3" x 5" cards, 5" x 9" orange construction paper, stapler, staples, marker.

  1. Hand out orange paper.
  2. Fold paper almost in half.
  3. Staple two sides of the orange paper to form a pocket.
  4. Write "Complete The Sentence" and "Acts 17:1-15."
  5. Hand out cards.
  6. Students think up true sentences about the lesson. 
  7. Examples of sentences:  "When Paul went to a new city, he usually met people in the...synagogue."   "The Bereans were more noble than...those in Thessalonica."  "Paul wanted Timothy and Silas him in Athens."  "The Jews in Thessalonica liked to...stir up trouble for Paul and Silas." "The church in Berea...studied daily."
  8. On one card write the first part of a sentence.
  9. On the second card, write the ending to the sentence.
  10. Mix up cards.
  11. Find the two cards that go together.
  12. Play a few rounds, if time permits.
  13. Place cards in pocket and take home.