Paul’s Ministry to the Thessalonians
2 For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain. But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last!
Paul’s Longing to See Them Again
But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.
1 Thessalonians 2 Commentary
by Hank Workman
There’s a saying, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
As a Believer in Christ, we all have a ministry. We all are ministers of the Gospel of Jesus. For some maybe that is a foreign thought as often we think ministers are the ones who stand before a congregation and give a sermon. But the moment any of us accepted the forgiveness of Jesus in our lives, we became ministers. We are called to know the Gospel but also to live it. We are expected to minister to the people God has entrusted to each of us in our circle. We are called to invest in others and care deeply.
Ministry is hard. It’s often a thankless job, one laced with not pats on the back but unfortunately criticism where we failed to do this or do that. It’s a job where more often than not we struggle to continue to give when we don’t want to.
Paul and his companions invested highly in those God led across their path.
“Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.”1 Thessalonians 2:8
They shared their very lives for the people. It wasn’t just the words of the Gospel proclaimed, it was the actions and investment that followed that made an impact as well. It’s important to note that the Believers in Thessaloniki had their lives changed by God, not Paul. It was Christ’s words that made an impact and led others to Him, not Paul’s. However, as Paul then lived the message of Christ, loving, encouraging, comforting and urging them to live lives worthy of their calling (Verses 12) they saw the Gospel lived out right before their eyes.
Who are the people in your circle of ministry? Who are the ones God has given you to make an impact for the Kingdom? Whether it’s your little ones at home, the work colleagues, the students who sit beside you in class, the people God has brought into your life – who are these that are your ministry? Our mission is to comfort and love deeply these whom God has granted a time of investment in. We are to comfort and urge them toward the greater calling of Jesus for their own lives. This won’t come through our words of knowledge or wisdom but through the power of the Holy Spirit and caring deeply for them. Invest your lives.
1 Thessalonians 2 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Paul covers a broad range of topics in this chapter. He starts with defending, and moves to loving, laboring, modeling, leading, feeding, and suffering. He also took care in leaving no doubt that his preaching was authentic.
Although Paul encourages the church to support their pastors (1 Tim 5:17-18) he explains in verse 9 that he worked day and night to provide for himself, not accepting money for preaching so that he could not be questioned about his motives. This was a far cry from the false teachers then (and today) who do it only to get rich.
Paul wrote directly to the hostile Jews who crucified Christ and continued to persecute the early church, not allowing Paul and his companions to minister to the Gentiles. He compared their attitude to someone who is “storing up” wrath.
Today, this kind of warning would apply to anyone who seeks to hinder Christ’s kingdom from being fulfilled, and/or, someone who continually is living in sin and refusing repentance.
“Turning from past sins to present ones, Sha’ul says that they (the Judean unbelievers) are displeasing God and opposing all mankind by trying to prevent him from ministering the Good News of Yeshua among the Gentiles. Theirs is a dog-in-the-manger attitude, or, as Yeshua put it to some hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim, “You are shutting the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces, neither entering yourselves nor allowing those who wish to enter to do so” (Mat 23:13).”Jewish New Testament Commentary