Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 2 Study # 5
June 22, 2014
11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father [doth] his children,
12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
1901 ASV Translation:
11 as ye know how we [dealt with] each one of you, as a father with his own children, exhorting you, and encouraging [you], and testifying,
12 to the end that ye should walk worthily of God, who calleth you into his own kingdom and glory.
- I. Just As You Know.
- A. The verb is used in 16 of the verses in 1 Thessalonians. This is more than any other epistle except Romans (where it is used 18 times in 3 times as many chapters) and 1 Corinthians (where it is used 28 times in 3 times as many chapters with the chapters being quite a bit longer than those of 1Thess). In other words, it is a major thesis of Paul's "hope" theme.
- B. The point is the same: "Hope" continues to thrive when people "remember" what they "know" about the demonstration of "Life" given to them by godly teachers.
- II. The Focus of This "Knowing".
- A. Each one of you got "equal treatment" (either there weren't that many of them, or Paul was a very busy man, or he did what he did in a "group" format).
- B. The "treatment" was that of a "father" with his "own" children.
- 1. This is a switch from the "wet-nurse" with her "own" children in 2:7.
- 2. The switch suggests two different ways that children are treated: a "female" way, and a "male" way.
- a. The female way is characterized as completely self-sacrificing in the most harmless way (we were "made to become babes in your midst").
- b. The male way is characterized in the on-going text before us.
- 1) "Summoning".
- a) This is the term used by Paul as an over-arching characterization of The Gospel in 2:3.
- b) At the root of the Truth is one fact: men need to come into relationship with God in order to participate in Life and, to do that, they need to hear "The Summons" that He sounds forth (1:8), however it is extended.
- c) Fathers, Paul says, "summon" their own children -- exhort, rebuke, encourage, entreat, console, etc.
- 2) "Encouraging".
- a) This verb is found only in four texts in the New Testament, but two of them are extremely helpful and the other two are found in this letter.
- b) The word itself was coined to describe the "telling of" something "alongside of" someone who had a special need. The implication is that the "telling" was supposed to address the need.
- c) In the two more enlightening texts (John 11:19 and 11:31), the "need" was Martha's and Mary's emotional distress created by the death of their brother and Jesus' lack of presence, and the "solution" was "soft conversation", probably involving the recounting of some of the experiences they had shared with Lazarus.
- d) In the other text in this letter, the word is used to describe the proper action to take with what the Authorized Version translators, for whatever reason, call "the feebleminded" (an almost ludicrous translation). The "feebleminded" are actually those whose "souls" have been reduced to extreme "smallness" by reason of some catastrophic event which has pretty much wiped out whatever it was that the "soul" was fixed upon. This exactly fits the content of the John 11 context wherein the sisters have lost the male fixture in their household and now have a large hole in their souls that leaves them emotionally distraught.
- e) It is interesting that when Paul had the opportunity to use this term in regard to those who have died, he refrained (4:13-18).
- f) Fathers, Paul says, come alongside their distraught children in the times when those children have suffered some particularly difficult "soul" loss.
- 3) "Witnessing".
- a) The word typically means "to give evidence as a witness".
- b) It is found in the near context in both 2:5 and 2:10 wherein the issue is being an observer of certain facts that later might have come under scrutiny.
- c) Fathers, Paul says, "bear witness" to their children, probably in the form of telling them of past events that have a bearing upon the children's ability to live well.
- 4) The sum total being a kind of insistence that the Thessalonians take responsibility to behave themselves by the Spirit.
- a) This "behavior" is "walking" worthy of the God who is calling them into His own Kingdom and glory.
- b) The bottom line here is that God consistently "calls" and the "worthy" behavior is "responding to the call" with "faith".