1 Thessalonians 3:1-2. Wherefore, when we could no longer forbear, seeing you were so oppressed with persecutions, we sent Timothy, and preferred being left agone without a fellow-labourer at Athens. Here was love, paternal love to the saints at Thessalonica. To be left alone in so great a work, and in so learned and celebrated a city as Athens, exposed to contempt and laughter in the schools, the malice of the jews, and the ravings of the populace, not to name the heathen priests, was a sacrifice like parting with a right hand, in losing Timothy. Paul would rather suffer the privation of a brother so dear, and ever faithful in the work of the Lord, than that the Thessalonians should think that he had forgotten them in the day of trouble.
1 Thessalonians 3:6-9. But now when Timotheous came from you to us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and love, our souls were drawn out in thanksgiving to God, who has kept you in the evil day, the day of which we fully apprised you; for it is the pleasure of the Lord that we should suffer for his sake. He immolates in martyrdom the choicest rams of his flock, that the dark and misguided crowds in the amphitheatres may see the glory and power of our religion, alike invincible by the smiles and frowns of men. Thus, brethren, we live, if you live; we rejoice, if you rejoice. You are as our own bowels, to live and to die in the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 3:10; 1 Thessalonians 3:13. Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face. Amid the cloud of excellencies in St. Paul, there are two which are very conspicuous. The one, to see “multitudes” converted; and the other, to take daily care of all the churches. He was equally a praying man, and a vigilant man; for his soul was in the work of the Lord. He grieved not at any sufferings, if the end might be answered in their victory in so great a fight with wicked and unreasonable men; and as he could not go, he prayed the Lord to supply all defects of his absence, and hasten the hour when he might again comfort his suffering children, some of whom, as is allowed, having suffered martyrdom in the contest.
He prays that their hearts might be established in love one towards another, and towards all men, for revenge would only double the evils, and that their upright and unblamable conduct might conciliate the good opinion of the public, and convince them that heaven, and righteousness, and truth dwell in the church of God.
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Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 3". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/
Second Sunday after Epiphany