Lectionary Year A
November 10, 2002
I Thessalonians 4:13-18

Step II: Disposition

A. Genre

(JFC) Paul seems to be trying to assure the Thessalonians that upon death, while grieving might be unavoidable, grieving in ignorance is hopeless and can prove beneficial for the believer. He addresses some concerns he senses they must have, re: death, etc. Then, he points to God in Jesus' death and resurrection and, finally he approaches head-on the subject of timeliness and timelessness of death in Christ = resurrection. With these sentiments attended to, he then encourages them to share the comfort he has stated. His vocabulary seems right straight-forward and based on a theology that seems to give him comfort he seeks to share with the recipients of this Epistle.

B. Personal Interaction

(JFC) Wonder what he has heard from the Thessalonians, re: their questions concerning death, etc. Did they think the living might precede the already dead to their reward when Jesus returns? And, the apocalyptic/eschatological picture, where did it come from? Then, too, are his very few words encouraging them to encourage/comfort others enough to do the job of motivating/inspiring them to do so?

C. Organization

(JFC) The questions of the Thessalonians are alluded to in the first verse (13) of this lection. Verse 15 mentions the precedence of some or all previously dead getting to go with God before those still living. The apocalyptic/eschatological picture is in verses 16 and 17. And, does the Apostle authentically use such figures? The final verse is the 18th.

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