"Having been taken away from you for a short time..."
Text: 1 Thessalonians 2:17
Persecution was a very real and traumatic problem for the Thessalonian Church. Paul sought to share with them his reflections on the persecution he and his team had to endure for the sake of the gospel.
“But we, brethren, having been taken away from you
for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured
more eagerly to see your face with great desire.”
1 Thessalonians 2:17
1. “But we, brethren”
Paul, Silas, and Timothy ministered together in the Second Missionary journey.
A strong bond was created between Paul’s team and the Thessalonians.
2. “Having been taken away from you for a short time in presence”
a) Strong persecution was experienced.
i) The enemies resorted to mob violence.
ii) They attacked anyone they suspected of being Christians.
iii) They used the legal system to attack the believers (Acts 17:5-9).
b) The action of the brethren:-
i) They made sure Paul and Silas were escorted to safety.
ii) Paul had barely spent three Sabbaths at Thessalonica (Acts 17:2).
3. “In presence, not in heart”
a) Physically Paul and Silas could not be in Thessalonica for they could have been killed.
b) “Not in heart”
i) There was a strong bond of affection.
ii) The Thessalonians were now “brethren”.
4. “Endeavoured more eagerly to see your face with great desire”
a) Paul and Silas longed to see the Thessalonians face to face.
b) They very much wanted to minister in Thessalonica again.
c) A strong sense of affection is expressed here.
d) Paul and Silas served the Lord with great passion.
e) They served with a deep sense of affection and devotion.