The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

My Notes on 1 Thessalonians 2:7b-13

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 14, 2017

2:7b But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother cherishes her own children.

A contrast with the preceding verses (5-7a) is introduced with the word but. Mothers don’t demand payment from the children they nurse

2:8 Even so, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you, not the Good News of God only, but also our own souls, because you had become very dear to us.

The preaching of the Gospel isn’t just a job, it’s an act of love; a family affair, a giving of ones self completely, like a nursing mother. Thus:

2:9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and travail; for working night and day, that we might not burden any of you, we preached to you the Good News of God.

Concerning work and labor see the introductory comments inset above. Labor and travail are maternal images continuing the theme of 2:7. Also continued here is the theme of 2:6-7. With rare exception (Phil 4:15-16), St Paul never accepted financial help for his ministry; rather, he supported himself as a tent maker (see acts 18:1-3 and 20:33-34).

2:10 You are witnesses with God, how holy, righteously, and blamelessly we behaved ourselves toward you who believe.

Again St Paul calls on the two-fold witness of God and the Thessalonians.

2:11-12 As you know, we exhorted, comforted, and implored every one of you, as a father does his own children, cb(to the end that you should walk worthily of God, who calls you into his own Kingdom and glory.

The opening as you know builds upon the previous verse. To the end shows what it is that motivates Paul’s emphasis on his conduct. As mentioned earlier, St Paul’s primary concern is not defending his actions against false accusations; rather, he wants his converts to imitate him, that they should walk worthily of God, who call them into his own Kingdom and glory. The call of the Thessalonians took place through the preaching of the Gospel, and its mention here reminds us of St Paul’s reference to how they were chosen in 1:4, when the Gospel came to them. The father/children image is an obvious compliment to the nursing mother/Paul in labor and travail theme in verse 7 and 9.

2:13. And for this cause we also thank God without ceasing, that, when you received from us the word of God from hearing us, you accepted it no as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also works in you that believe.

And for this cause we also thank God without ceasing, that, when you received the word of God from hearing us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also works in you that believe.

We also thank God without ceasing draws a parallel to 1:2 which reads: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers”.

That, when you received the word of God from hearing us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also works in you that believe. parallels 1:5, which reads: “How our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power, and in the Holy spirit, and in much assurance; even as you know what manner of men we showed ourselves towards you for your sake.” The two references to “the word of God” In 2:13 also parallels 1:8-“For from you has sounded forth the word of the Lord…

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