27 July 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13

27 July. Paul says he'd like to visit the Thessalonians again

"Brothers and sisters, though we were separated from you for a short time, our thoughts were still with you. we wanted very much to see you and tried hard to do so... When we could not wait any longer, we decided it was best to stay in Athens alone [see Acts 17:14-16] and send Timothy to you..."

"We sent him to strengthen and encourage you in your faith so none of you would be upset by these troubles. You yourselves know that we must face these troubles. Even when we were with you, we told you we would have to suffer, and you know it has happened...."

"But Timothy has now come back to us from you and has brought us good news about your faith and love. He told us that you always remember us in a good way and that you want to see us just as much as we want to see you..."

"We have so much joy before our God because of you. We cannot thank him enough for all the joy we feel. Night and day we continue praying with all our heart that we can see you again and give you all the things you need to make your faith strong."

"Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus prepare the way for us to come to you. May the Lord make your love grow more and multiply for each other and for all people so that you will love others as we love you."

"May your hearts be made strong so that you will be holy and without fault before our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones."

          (1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13)



In this part of his letter, Paul expresses his desire to visit the Thessalonians again – a wish that he probably fulfilled on his Third Missionary Journey in 52 – 56AD (see Acts 20:1-3).

Paul reminds the new believers that, because they were being persecuted, he sent Timothy to them while he was in Athens (see Acts 17:16). Looking at Luke's account of Paul's Second Missionary Journey written some ten years later in 62AD, it may be that Paul sent Timothy back to Thessalonica with Silas after they had remained behind in Berea, then caught up with Paul again in Athens.

Paul is now writing from Corinth after Timothy and Silas have met up with him yet again (see Acts 18:5). It's interesting, in passing, to see how Paul and his colleagues acted as a team; Paul delivering the stirring evangelical messages, and Timothy and Silas remaining behind to teach and instruct new converts.

Having returned to Paul in Corinth, Timothy has told Paul how the believers in Thessalonica are living out their new faith despite the persecution they are receiving from some of the Jews.

Paul finishes this section by praying that the Lord Jesus will prepare the way for him to visit them again. He prays that the Lord will multiply their love for each other, and that their lives will be pure and without fault as they wait for the Lord Jesus Christ to return.

The photo shows an ancient chapel in the crypt of the Church of Agios (Saint) Demetrios in Thessalonica.

You can read more from Paul's First Letter to the Thessalonians @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/paul-hopes-to-visit-thes…/

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