2:1 Paul's Ministry at Thessalonica
SUMMARY OF I THESSALONIANS 2:
How the Gospel Was Brought to Thessalonica. The Manner of Paul's Preaching. His Manner of Life. His Exhortation. Their Persecutions. His Desire to Return to Comfort Them.
Our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain. The existence of the flourishing church, where none had before existed, was proof of that fact.
2:2 Were shamefully treated... at Philippi. See Ac 16:19-24. Even after such cruel treatment at the first place in Europe where they preached the gospel, they were no less
bold in... God to speak. the gospel at Thessalonica, the second place they labored, through
with much contention. With fierce opposition. See Ac 17:13.
2:3 For our exhortation [was] not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile. The message they preached did not spring from deceit, or unclean lives, or guile. It was in all sincerity, and hence they were bold (1Th 2:2).
2:4 So we speak. God had given them the gospel as a trust. They were stewards of the mysteries of God (1Co 4:1). They spoke as those faithful to a trust, seeking to please God instead of men.
2:5 For neither at any time used we flattering words. He would have used these if he had sought to please men, but he told them plainly of their sins.
Nor a cloke of covetousness. Nor did he have a covetous motive and conceal it by fair pretenses.
2:6 Nor from men sought we glory. Enemies of the cross sought some motive to explain the devotion of the apostles to the work. When all others failed, they named the desire of glory, as though men would make themselves offscouring for the sake of glory (1Co 4:13).
When we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. They might have demanded glory, and stood on the dignity of the apostles' office, and required pecuniary support. Instead, they worked at Thessalonica with their own hands for a support. See 1Th 2:9.
2:7 But we were gentle among you. Instead of throwing ourselves on our dignity as apostles.
2:8 But also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. You were so dear to us that we not only were willing to impart the gospel, but would have given our lives to you and for you.
2:9 Ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail. There was hard and exhausting labor, night and day. The apostle was not willing to be chargeable to them; hence, while preaching in season, out of season (2Ti 4:2), he labored at his trade for a support. To this day the weaving of black cloths for tents is a great industry at Thessalonica.
2:10 Ye [are] witnesses. How holy and blameless were our lives.
2:11 As a father [doth] his children. As tenderly and earnestly.
2:12 His kingdom. The kingdom of Christ, visible as the church on earth.
2:13 Not [as] the word of men. They had received the gospel preached by Paul as the word of the Lord, a divine message.
Which effectually worketh. The word, received into the heart, is the good seed of the kingdom, and springeth up to eternal life.
2:14 Became followers. Imitators of the churches in Judea, enduring persecution faithfully.
Ye also have suffered. As the Jews persecuted the churches in Judea, so you have been persecuted by your own countrymen. The persecution at Thessalonica was first stirred up by unbelieving Jews, but they induced the heathen to join in it. They stirred up the people (Ac 17:13).
2:15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets. The Jews in Thessalonica had incited the persecution there. Their hostility to righteousness elsewhere is cited. They not only slew the Savior, but had killed their own prophets (Mt 23:31).
And have persecuted us. The apostles and evangelists, and especially Paul. Their hatred pursued them everywhere.
2:16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles. Nothing created such animosity on the part of the Jews as preaching the gospel to the Gentiles. See Ac 22:21-23.
To fill up their sins always. To fill the measure of their sins so full that God would reject them as a people. Compare Ge 15:16 Mt 23:32.
For the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost. They were ripe for destruction. Before twenty years it came.
2:17 We, brethren, being taken from you. Forced away from them, his heart remained with them.
2:18 We would have come unto you. Once and again, twice, he had purposed to return to them,
but Satan hindered us. How, is not stated, but some difficulties intervened that Paul attributed to Satan. His agency is often manifest when we do not recognize it; sometimes in wicked opposition, sometimes even as an angel of light (2Co 11:14).
2:19 Or crown of rejoicing. As the victor in the games could point to his crown as the proof of his powers, so Paul could point to the Gentile churches as the proof of ministry.
At his coming. Paul took pride in the thought how great a work the Lord at his coming would behold which he had wrought in the gospel.