1 Thessalonians – Week 2
1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 Intro
It’s really cool when you can see the history of the early church embedded in the epistles of the New Testament. At the start of 1 Thessalonians 2, when Paul talks about being “shamefully treated at Philippi,” he’s talking about his experience with Timothy and Silas in Acts 16:11-40. Check that out for a little more background on the events that shaped this letter.
In 1 Thessalonians 2 Paul continues to reminisce on his time with the Thessalonians. He talks about how tender-hearted he was towards them, how he cared for them like a mother or father with their children and poured himself out for their sake. Keep an eye on the flow of the text; he started by talking about how the Thessalonians came to faith, how thankful he was for this, how he labored with them, and by the end of chapter 2 he’ll talk about wanting to come see them again (2:17-20). Because the Thessalonians were being persecuted, and because Paul had to leave Thessalonica so quickly, there’s a chance they were feeling a little abandoned. So Paul wrote this letter to remind them of how much he cares for them. He’s not gloating about how great his ministry was, he’s writing to encourage the Thessalonians despite their trials and explain that he’ll be back soon.
As you discuss this passage, think about the disposition Paul had towards the Thessalonians. Think about his care and concern for them. Paul said they had become “very dear” to him (v.8). How could Paul care so deeply for people he’d known for six months? And how can we treat each other similarly?
Questions for Discussion
• Let’s look at 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 (note: this is slightly different from the sermon text)
• What stands out to you from the passage?
• What characterized the way Paul shared the gospel with the Thessalonians?
• Why do you think Paul felt so tender-hearted towards the Thessalonians?
• What can we learn from this passage about how to share the gospel with others?
• How can we call each other to “walk in a manner worthy of God”?