Acts 17:5-9 5 But the Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd. 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, 7 and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.” 8 When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. 9 Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.
I’m just gonna say it: these guys were a bunch of knuckleheads! Really. I mean, is this how a civilized human being handles new teaching? It says that they went out looking for trouble and caused a riot. Do you know anyone like that? You try to bring them a message of life and they go all crazy on you. You know where that comes from? Jealousy and fear. Jealousy over the fact that you have a hope and fear about the possibility of you being right. So what do you do when knuckleheads try to trample your message? Do you fight back? Do you tell them they are idiots?
You move on. That’s what Paul and Silas did. They left to the town of Berea. It says that the Bereans were much more civilized than those in Thessalonica. The Bereans were confronted with their beliefs too. But instead of rioting, they opened the scriptures to see if what was being preached was actually true. They opened their ears to hear the message and checked for its accuracy. Those are the people that are a joy to share the gospel with – those who want to receive it and those who want to grow.
I know that God wants us to do our best to reach people everywhere. And I’m not suggesting we give up on the effort to reach those who are hard to reach. But I wonder if we waste too much time arguing with knuckleheads. What would happen if we took that same time and energy and used it to teach and equip someone who wanted to grow? After all, we’ve got a great hope to share! So let’s be persistent to share it. But don’t waste your time on knuckleheads. Instead pray for them and ask God to calm down the riots in their life. Then start investing in someone who wants to grow.
*Have you been wasting your breath on knuckleheads? Ask God to show you who in your life is ready to hear.