So you will recall, brothers [and sisters], our labour and our toil, working night and day so that we not be a burden to any of you, to whom we had proclaimed God's Good News.
     You and God [Himself] are witnesses to how devoted, upright and blameless we were to you believers as we, as a father to each of his own children, directing and consoling and bearing witness by walking [together with you in a way] worthy of the God who called you to Himself, to His Kingly Rule and His Glorious Reputation.
     And therefore, we continue to give unceasing thanks to God that, having heard the word from us, you received it, welcoming God's word not as from men but for what it truly is, God’s message, about His working in you, who believe. - I Thessalonians 2:9-13/transliteration by Bruce C Wearne

 Sewing

TENTMAKER: Paul writes to the Thessalonians that they will recall how he and others with him worked "night and day" so they wouldnb't be a burden. PICTURE: Théotime/Unsplash

 

An unscrupulous group of opponents had sought to have the synagogue close ranks against those who had put faith in this Messiah. And as a result, a public judicial hearing was held and Jason, one of the believers, was forced to pay bail. Those who assisted Paul and Silas to leave had, in their own way, closed ranks and in so doing had become the church of Thessalonians.

Presumably, the Thessalonian synagogue had, with the earnest encouragement of Paul and Silas, examined the message they had brought in relation to the teaching of the Law and the Prophets. What were the consequences for them as a community, now that Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel, had come?

The Good News had been brought to them, but Paul and Silas did not prevail upon them for their support. They supported themselves. Too much was at stake. Rather than become a burden to the Thessalonian believers, they had worked night and day to ensure that their own needs were met. And this, it appears, became the right way to give encouragement. Like a father bearing witness to the ways of the Lord to his maturing adult children, Paul and Silas gave a credible example of living with integrity.

But then a Jewish synagogue, as a venue to hear God’s Good News, is amenable to all kinds of contacts, including those of the wider Jewish community. Paul and Silas contributed to the ongoing Jewish consideration of Scriptural teaching about the Messiah, as they had done elsewhere, explaining the fulfilment of God’s promises in Christ Jesus.

This had provoked angry and bitter resistance in other places, as well. In fact, it was due to such contention in Philippi that the two of them had initially left there to find themselves coming to Thessalonica and it was such contention that meant they would then, in time, move on to Beroea.

An unscrupulous group of opponents had sought to have the synagogue close ranks against those who had put faith in this Messiah. And as a result, a public judicial hearing was held and Jason, one of the believers, was forced to pay bail.

Those who assisted Paul and Silas to leave had, in their own way, closed ranks and in so doing had become the church of Thessalonians.

If there were to be a split in the Jewish synagogue over the Good News proclaimed by Paul and Silas, it could not be without ignoring the fact that in the examination of the Law and the Prophets some had come to faith by affirming the Scriptural affirmation of their message about Jesus. Those who believed were still committed to offering the Good News, free of charge, to whoever would believe, because it was, indeed, not “from man, but what it truly is, God’s message".