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Was not a failure. The strong church Paul had planted there was proof of success!
Mistreated and insulted in Philippi. Acts 16:19-44.16.24. Yet our God gave us courage. They honored God by being courageous in the face of danger and opposition (Philippians 4:13). Much opposition. A certain group of Jews made it their purpose in life, to oppose the spread of the Good News (see Acts 17:13). This opposition demonstrated the faith of the Christians!
The appeal we make to you. Many people define faith as: “something you believe, even though you know it isn’t true.” The Good News of Christ is based upon EVIDENCE! Paul makes it plain that they do not preach this message through greed, a desire for power, or to trick people. The Good News is that God has acted in Jesus Christ to set men free from their sins and give them eternal life!
We always speak as God wants us to. They were carrying out a mission for God. He would judge their motives. Therefore, they did not make any attempt to please men.
That we did not come to you. They knew Paul had not used flattering talk to trick them, nor did he try to hide bad motives under a lot of smooth words.
We did not try to get praise. Those who opposed the Good News tried to find some hidden motive to explain the unselfish dedication of the apostles. When obviously it was not power and money, they then said it must be to “get praise” for themselves (but see 1 Corinthians 4:9-46.4.10).
Even though we could have. It was their right to be supported by those they were bringing to Christ (1 Corinthians 9:1-46.9.7). But he made a point of not doing this (1 Thessalonians 2:9).
We were ready to share with you. Love was the motive for all that Paul did. Love made him overcome obstacles to bring them the Good News, and he would have sacrificed his own life to do it (2 Corinthians 12:15). He loves them as a mother loves her child!
We worked day and night. He worked with his own hands at a trade, to pay his own way, so that no one could accuse him of having money for a motive when he proclaimed the Good News. [But at other times and places, he took a salary (2 Corinthians 11:8).]
You are our witnesses. They knew the truth of what Paul was saying.
Just as a father. Who teaches and guides his children for their own good and benefit.
Who calls you to share. This is God’s offer through Jesus Christ. The Kingdom is visible on earth as the church (the messianic community). See Colossians 1:13.
Not as man’s message. They had received the Good News as being the teaching of God. Since people act on the basis of what they believe, God works in those who believe his message.
Had the same things happen to you. They “imitated” the Judean Christians by experiencing the same kind of persecutions. An element of “unbelieving Jews” began persecuting the church at Thessalonica and persuaded others to join in this (Acts 17:5).
Who killed the Lord Jesus. Not all the Jews, but a certain element was responsible for killing Jesus (Matthew 27:25). The false teachers here may have said that since the Jews, who were Jesus’ own people, killed him and persecuted the apostles, this was proof that the Good News is false. But Paul points out the fact that they even killed their own prophets whom they admitted came from God! (Acts 7:52-44.7.53; Matthew 23:31) How hostile they are to all men. The Jewish leaders were especially noted for this, and even Josephus, the Jewish historian, mentions it. The Law of Moses commanded kindness to foreigners. But after the return from Babylon (where they had been held captive) they developed an “isolationism” which caused them to be openly hostile to everyone but their own group.
They even tried to stop us. The Christians at Thessalonica were mostly Gentiles. Nothing fanned the flames of hatred among this group of Jews, as did the preaching of the Good News to the Gentiles (Acts 22:21-44.22.23). This is the last fall measure of the sins. Note this is their own act of free will. Jesus prophesied that God’s wrath would fall on this group of people (Matthew 23:35-40.23.36). God’s wrath did fall on them in many ways, but none so devastating as the destruction of Jerusalem (70 A.D.) which came in less than twenty years time from when Paul wrote this.
How we missed you. He had been forced to leave them (Acts 17:10).
But Satan would not let us. We are not told how, but some difficulties came up that Paul credits to Satan.
After all, it is you. Paul uses symbolism to show a timeless reality. The one who won the victory in the Games, was given a crown as a token. Paul points with pride to the Gentile churches as the token of his victory. When he stands before Christ the Judge, they will be his “reason for boasting.” He says: “Indeed, you are our pride and our joy!” (See Daniel 12:3.)
These files are public domain.
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 2". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent