Hospitality Week 2: 1 Thess. 2:8
1 Thess. 2:8 intro
Over the summer in our Thessalonians series we looked at 1 Thessalonians 2 and Paul’s relationship with the church at Thessalonica (1 Thess. series week 2). This week we’re going to come back to that chapter and talk about the disposition of Paul’s care for the church, specifically from 1 Thess. 2:8: we were ready to share…our own selves.
This self-sharing, or sacrificial service, was typical of Paul’s ministry. In Philippians Paul talks about being “poured out” like a sacrifice for the benefit of the church.(Phil. 2:17) In 1 Thessalonians 2:12 he explains the purpose for this pouring out, in order that the Thessalonians may live according to the Gospel. We see the greatest version of this service from Jesus, whose blood was literally poured out as a sacrifice to our greatest benefit. In our discussion we’ll look at some of the discourse from the last supper in Luke 22, in which Jesus talks about his giving of himself in bodily form. When we give ourselves to others, it’s always in embodied service; in this we follow Jesus and take up our cross.(Matt. 6:24)
In following Jesus, we’re called to take his lead in self-sacrifice. We don’t die for others’ sins, but we do pour ourselves out so that others might know Christ. This presents us with some necessary questions, such as, do we care enough about others to be poured out for them? Do we so earnestly desire that others would know Christ that we’re willing to put our lives on the line? And would we want others to do the same for us?
Questions for Discussion
• Could someone read 1 Thessalonians 2:5-12?
• What stands out to you here?
• What do you think Paul mean by “share our own selves”?
• Let’s turn to Luke 22:19-20. Could someone read that for us?
• What do you think Jesus meant when he said his body was “given”?
• How can Jesus’ sharing of himself help us understand how to share ourselves?
• Looking at 1 Thess. 2 again, for what purpose do we share ourselves with others?