1 Thessalonians 2:7-12
v7: Gentle among you: Naturally (before regeneration) people aren’t gentle. We tend to
want to get what we want by whatever means possible. When we behave in a gentle way it
means that we are trusting G-d to bring it about, not trying to manipulate a situation – not
using power to get what we want. Gentleness is not weakness.
• A nursing one (mother): Written in the feminine. Paul’s attitude toward the
Thessalonians was a desire to give them nourishment, to build up – not with any
personal objective or with any personal desire to get anything. A mother who
nurses a child is not on the receiving end but is the one who gives. Because she
cherishes her child her whole focus and motivation is toward the child’s wellbeing.
This is the image that Paul gives to this the congregation in order that they could
understand why he was doing the things that he was doing.
v8: affectionately longing: Paul uses some very intense words. This is a strong word of
desire but also affection. Paul yearns affectionately for these people. It is when we are
loving G-d that we are enabled to love others. The commandments of G-d (which are
summed up by loving G-d and loving others) give us the correct perspective for ministry.
When we walk in the Spirit, we are enabled to fulfil the righteousness of the law – loving
• The gospel of G-d: The gospel gives us powerful words of salvation, words of
reconciliation etc -words that have a tremendous outcome in our lives.
• Impart to you… our own lives: Paul understood that true ministry involves giving of
oneself. It is a privilege to bless someone, help others mature and grow in the faith
or helping someone in the midst of their need.
• Become dear to us …(Beloved ones): Over and over Paul is letting these people know
that he loves them. He has poured out/invested his life for them (and for the other
congregations) As disciples we are called to love G-d and love others.
v9: Labour: This is a strong word for work. It was not an easy task. Their diligent service
was very taxing. It was full of effort and time.
• Toil: a word that speaks about difficult or hard times – those things that are
unpleasant, things that we don’t want to go through. This verse gives us a good idea
of what ministry is all about
• Night and day: Continuously
• Labouring … that we might not be a burden: They suffered. They worked hard. They
ministered to others – meeting needs in the fullest sense.
• The gospel of G-d: This phrase has been repeated a few times in this chapter.
Repetition emphasises. Paul endured suffering (night and day) for the gospel of G-d
as the outcome (the motivating factor) was that he got to see lives changed. Paul
had the opportunity to affect other people (and even himself) for eternity.
v10: You: The believers
• You are witnesses: Our lives are watched by fellow believers as well as by (secular)
others. Our testimony should be of the utmost importance to us. It influences
people (positively or negatively).
• G-d: G-d is also watching our lives. He is a witness of how we live. Paul is confident
that G-d is happy with the way that Paul is living. Why? Because Paul has agreed
with G-d and has submitted to Him.
• Devoutly and justly: Holy and righteous are synonyms for these words. Paul is
making a bold statement here. This is how we should aspire to live our lives.
Nothing should be allowed to damage our testimonies or reputations (credibility).
• Blamelessly: Without spot. Paul is doing nothing apart from the will of G-d.
v11: You know: Paul has repeated this a few times already in this epistle. These
Thessalonians KNEW Paul well – they had not heard about him in a distant kind of way. They
had experienced and seen first-hand how Paul lived.
• Exhorted: Encouraged. Paul wanted to motivate them to do the right thing – to do
• As a father does his own children: Paul (as well as the other apostles) had a position
of leadership and were there to provide for the people. They were not there to
receive or take things from people. Paul went to them and dealt with them in the
same way that a father deals with his children – a father wants to provide support to
his children and does not look for something in return. His joy is seeing his children
being approved by G-d and having a righteous testimony.
v12: Note: There is a question in different Greek manuscripts as to where verse 11 ends and
verse 12 starts.
• Walk: Walking is a word of lifestyle. In Hebrew it has the same base word as the
word used for Jewish law (Halacha)
• Calls you into His own Kingdom: This is not only something that is future, but there’s
a foretaste of that Kingdom within us right now. Although we are not presently
living in the Kingdom, we have a foretaste of Kingdom truth and Kingdom character
within us. We are called to demonstrate it – that’s what it means by having a walk
worthy of G-d.
1 Thessalonians 2:7-12