My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

1 Thessalonians 2

You're so good, you're almost Jewish.

Though we faced strong opposition, coming to you was a success. We didn't come for bad reasons. We've been entrusted with God's gospel, so we don't need to use flattery or deception. We only want to please God. We weren't a burden to you. We shared our lives with you. We were blameless and helpful.

You accepted our words like the word of God. You're as onto it as the churches in Judaea. You have suffered persecution like them. The Jews have tried to stop them speaking to Gentiles. They have screwed up in a big way.

You're the apple of our eye, and we're gutted that Satan has stopped us from visiting you again.

Key verse:
13. when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.

My thoughts:
Because the jist of our New Testament is Paul's letters, we really only get a picture of what the Gentile churches were like. Paul, by comparing the Thessalonian Church to the churches in Judaea implies that they are somehow different. It seems that they are much more onto it, which perhaps isn't that surprising. He presents the persecuated Judean as a goal to attain.

We must remember that when Paul's letters are pretty much all speaking to what he views as 'maturing' churches. They have not reached maturity.

Because Thessalonica is so fantastic, Paul hasn't actually said much new or interesting yet.

Note how Paul talked of the struggles and failures at Philippi, yet they became a significant church. God often works in the areas of most opposition. Around 1900 missionaries bemoaned the failures of missionary attempts in China and Korea, yet were excited by the promise in Japan. Now China and Korea have the most Christians in all Asia, and Japan has none! God's funny like that.

When I say 'missionaries' I mean, "I saw a quote from a missionary once".

Paul could probably be consider anti-semitic if he wasn't Jewish, and if people didn't realise the difference between disagreeing with a religion with cultural practices and racism.


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