Lectionary Year A
November 3, 2002
I Thessalonians 2:9-13

Step II: Disposition

A. Genre

(JFC) Here, Paul seems to be making a self-defense and/or calling to the memories of his recipients of this Epistle that and how conscientiously he and his party labored when they were in their midst. Then, as if it's an afterthought, he brings in God's part in the labors as the One who witnesses to their refusal to be a burden on them and One whose Gospel they proclaimed and One who is worthy of the manner of their work and whom they thank for the recipients' hearing and accepting the Word from that self-same God. He does make it a clear reminder of his exhortations, encouragements and commands. He seems to be complimenting, if not, in fact, flattering them.

B. Personal Interaction

(JFC) Does Paul actually have to defend himself, his method of working and avoiding burdening them when he was there? Does Paul exaggerate his praises or is he really that pleased with their maturing so much so soon? Do the exhortations, encouragements and charges really come to them as a father's dealing with his children? What stage of development are the children a father deals with and how with these infantile Christians by such a relatively young father-figure in the faith? How far do we take this metaphor?

C. Organization

(JFC) Paul's self-defense is in verses 9, 10 and 11. The image of a father's dealing with his children is also in the 11th verse. His praises appear in verse 13.

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