Paul’s Example: 2:1-12.
Paul explains how they conducted themselves among Thessalonians. Their conduct was holy, just and blameless towards them (2:10). There had been accusations against Paul’s work and motives. He wants them to know that he was not preaching the gospel for money or for human approval (2:4). Paul never tried to deceive the Thessalonians with words of flattery or tried to advance his own influence over them (2:5-6). He suffered suffered shamefully at Philippi and knew that this would happen again (Acts 16:20-24; 17:5). Yet they did not quit the ministry. Paul argues that if it was for money and for reputation, they would have quit the ministry. They were not preaching with any deceit or impure motives. They were purposeful and committed to the spiritual welfare of believers. They were confident that the God had entrusted this ministry to them (1 Tim 1:11-12). Being an apostle Paul could have made some demands of them. Paul believed that the gospel work should be supported by the gifts of God’s people. But Paul did not seek anything from them. He was gentle among them like a mother feeding and caring her children knowing their needs. He imitated Christ before the eyes of the watching world. Paul and companions worked hard to support themselves in order that they might not be a burden to believers. Paul’s trade was tent making (Acts 18:3). Paul did not consider it wrong to receive help from believers but did not make any demand for preaching the gospel. Paul received gift from the church of Philippi while he was at Thessalonica (Phil 4:16). He acted like a loving Father and encouraged them. They were in need of comfort in the face of opposition from Jews. Paul urges believers to live a life worthy of God who has called them to his kingdom and glory (2:12).
The Reception of the Word of God: 2:13-16.
Paul never stopped thanking God for the reception of the Word of God by the believers of Thessalonica. His message is the authoritative Word of god himself (2:13; 2 Tim 3:16)). They welcomed the message with open heart. They did not consider Paul’s message as mere human ideas. Paul, as a father encouraged them to grow in the faith by his teaching and examples. He was available to them when they were facing challenges in their life. Paul helped them like, fathers setting rules and boundaries to children to build conviction in their lives, so that they will make the right choices. Many people hear the word of God but few listen (Is 53:1; Rom 10:16-21). The hearing will not profit anyone if it is not being mixed with faith (Heb 4:2). Only the Word of God makes us wise for salvation through faith in Christ (2 Tim 3:15). The church of Thessalonica became the imitator of the churches in Judea (2:14). They suffered from their own countrymen. Jews killed both the Lord Jesus and their prophets (Mat 23:34). Now they persecute apostles and forbid them to speak to the gentiles (2:16; Acts 17:1-9). By doing this they pile up their sins for the wrath to come upon them. Jesus has condemned those who hindered people from believing in Christ (Mark 9:42). Paul received the good report from Timothy that in spite of persecution they were growing in the faith. Their faith was tested and proved to be true. Someone has said “The faith that is not tested can’t be trusted”. God allows trials in life to prove and to establish us in faith. Satan brings temptations and doubts to destroy us. God promises to give us grace and strength in our trails to strengthen us (2 Cor 12:9; 1 Cor 10:13). Ask God to reveal the purpose of trails in your life so that you may bring glory to him (2 Cor 12:10). Believers are exhorted to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might to stand against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-11).
Good Report Encourages Paul: 2: 17-20.
Paul was emotionally attached to Thessalonians. They were his children, his joy and crown. Paul longed to visit them and encouraged them in the faith (2:18). But Satan somehow hindered him from visiting them personally. So he sent Timothy to help them. The good report Timothy brought about the Thessalonians encouraged Paul. Paul assured Thessalonians of his deep love and desired to see them face to face (2;17). They are going to be his hope of joy or crown of boasting before the Lord at his coming (2:19). Scholars suggest that, this is the first time the Greek term “Parousia” is used in the New Testament. It refers for the formal visit of royalty and has become the technical term for the Second coming of Christ. It is used 18 times in the New Testament and 7 times in the Thessalonian epistles. At Christ’s second coming believers will be rewarded for their faithful service (2 Cor 5:10). The crown of rejoicing is the reward for those who win the souls (2:19). Paul says ‘For you are our glory and joy”. Pray that our hearts may be captivated by the blessed hope of Christ’s return.