For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain. But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. – 1 Thessalonians 2:1–8 (ESV)
David Ewert writes:
Evidently slanderous rumors about Paul and his associates were making the rounds in Thessalonica and Paul defends their missionary efforts in 2:1-12. This defense gives us insight into the nature of the ministry of the gospel in the early church, and in particular, of pioneer mission work.
Paul begins by jogging the memory of his readers. “You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure.” In 1:9, Paul’s emphasis lay on their reception of the gospel; here he underscores the personal conduct of the messengers. To say that their vist to Thessalonica was not in vain seems like an understatement in light of the fact that a thriving church was established in a relatively short period of time.
To emphasize that the missionaries had no ulterior motives for coming to Thessalonica, Paul recalls the mistreatment they had experienced at Philippi: “We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi.” The reference is to the illegal beating and imprisonment endured by Paul and Silas, about which the Thessalonians knew. For Roman citizens to be publicly stripped and flogged without an inquiry was an outrage, and this shameful treatment compounded the physical pain.
MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 100
Q. 100. What doth the preface of the Lord’s prayer teach us?
A. The preface of the Lord’s prayer, which is, Our Father which art in heaven, teacheth us to draw near to God with all holy reverence and confidence, as children to a father able and ready to help us; and that we should pray with and for others.