Chapter 2

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
The Apostles’s entrance in amongst the Thessalonians had not been in vain as witnessed by the Christians that had met with them, ( see 1:7-9), and now in 1 Thess. 2 he recalls to their own memories that his entrance amongst them, and that of his fellow-labourers, had not been in vain. These servants of God remind these young saints; for their own instruction and blessing, of the characteristics of their own service amongst them. First, after having been shamefully entreated at Philippi, they had been bold to preach the Gospel of God with much contention. This exhortation had not been of deceit nor of uncleanness, nor in guile; but as God had put them in trust with the Gospel so they spoke, not as pleasing men, but God that tried their hearts.
Neither had they at any time used flattering words, nor a cloak of covetousness; nor of men had they sought glory, neither of themselves nor of others; when they might have been burdensome as the Apostles of Christ. But they had been gentle among them as a nurse cherished her children. So being affectionately desirous of them, they had been willing not only to impart to them the Gospel of God, but their own lives, so dear were the Thessalonians to them. As a proof of this they remind them how, in order not to be chargeable, they had laboured with their own hands night and day. Holily, justly, and unblameably, had they walked before the Thessalonians that believed, exhorting and comforting, and charging them, as a father his children, that they would walk worthy of the God that had called them unto His kingdom and glory. Blessed character of the servants of God of that day. Thank God for its written picture. May God raise up men like-minded, with the double character of nurse and father as is exhibited here.
God was the object put before the Thessalonians. He had been their Savior. They had turned to Him from idols. God was likewise their object to serve in contrast to idols, and now God is put before them as their pattern for walk, who had called them to His kingdom and glory. We know how He was manifested, (viz., in His Son), but it is blessed to see how the Apostle Paul led back the young converts to the source of all, so that they might be in happy communion with God Himself. He had begun his song of praise in ch. 1:2; and the stream had run on joined together with many “for’s” till ch. 2:13. And now he repeats again for this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because when the Thessalonians had received the word they had received it not as the word of men, but as the Word of God; who effectually worked in all that believed; and so they were not merely followers of Paul, but of the churches of God which were in Judea. It was the same Word that had had common effect on their hearts; consequently they had suffered like things of their own countrymen, even as these Assemblies had of the Jews, who had both killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets; and had persecuted the Apostles, neither pleasing God, and also acting contrary to all men, forbidding the Apostles to preach even to the Gentiles, that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway; for wrath had come upon them to the uttermost.
Thus in ver. 6, chapter 1, we see how the young Christians had been followers of the Lord and the Apostles, who put before them their own character in chapter 2 as a pattern, and also of the Assemblies of Christ in Judea; suffering like persecutions. And God, manifested in His Son, was the great pattern of all; who had called them to His kingdom and glory.
Ver. 17. The Apostle then goes on to tell them how earnestly since his departure he had longed to see their faces, and had made one or two efforts to do so, but Satan had hindered him; for what was the hope of these servants of God, their joy, and crown of rejoicing? Was it not even these dear converts in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ at His coming. Yes, they were the Apostle’s glory and crown? Sweet joy to take place at the coming of the Lord, when all the converted ones, and the servants of God who have been used to them shall meet together with the Lord!