January 16, 2020

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1 Thessalonians 2:1-2

Paul defends his actions in this section. His visit had not been in vain, that is without results. Paul reminded his readers of his troubles in another city—Philippi (Acts 16:12-40). There, Paul and Silas were assaulted by a mob, beaten, and imprisoned. The persecution had the opposite effect of what was expected. The same could be said of Thessalonica. The opposition in Thessalonica had been fierce, but it emboldened them to proclaim not their gospel, but the gospel of God.

Consider Paul’s actions. Bible interpreter N. T. Wright writes: “If someone does something and gets paid for it, the next time they do it we can assume that part of the reason is the money. But if they do something and find themselves beaten up and thrown into jail, the next time they do it we rightly assume that they have some reason so compelling that it will make them carry on even though they run the same risk.”

When Paul faced opposition in Thessalonica, he faced the same ridicule and shameful treatment. But he did not back down. He carried right on, speaking with freedom and power.

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