Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women.
But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go. – Acts 17:1-9
For the next three days we'll be reading Paul's letters to the church at Thessalonica. I’ve included the entire record of their visit above because the backstory is central to the letter. When you read Paul’s regret that he, Silvanus, and Timothy “were torn away from” them, when he encourages them they “have suffered the same things from their countrymen” as the Judean churches had suffered from the Jews, you’ll know what he’s talking about.
You’ll also detect a theme, especially in chapter 2, related to the apostles’ reputations. When you read this, remember the observation that among their first converts had been devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. The apostles could have taken advantage of their position, and didn’t. Through the entire reading, Paul’s affection for the Thessalonians is evident, thanking God for their belief and describing them as “very dear to us,” and “our glory and joy.”
Our verse for this week is Deuteronomy 10:12: And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
1 Thessalonians 1 and 2. Now let’s read it!
“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,