1 Thessalonians 3:2-6

2 We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith,
3 so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them.
4 In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know.
5 For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain.

Timothy’s Encouraging Report

6 But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you.

1 Thessalonians 3:2 in Other Translations

KJV
2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:
ESV
2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith,
NLT
2 and we sent Timothy to visit you. He is our brother and God’s co-worker in proclaiming the Good News of Christ. We sent him to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith,
MSG
2 and sent Timothy to get you up and about, cheering you on so you wouldn't be discouraged by these hard times. He's a brother and companion in the faith, God's man in spreading the Message, preaching Christ.
CSB
2 And we sent Timothy, our brother and God's co-worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you concerning your faith,

1 Thessalonians 3:2-6 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 THESSALONIANS 3

In this chapter the apostle expresses his great love to the Thessalonians, by sending Timothy to then, to establish and comfort them; and declares his satisfaction with the things he brought of them, and concludes the chapter with fervent prayers for them: such was his affection for them, that he chose rather to be left alone at Athens, and send Timothy to them, though so very dear and useful to him, as his characters show, to the end that they might be established and comforted, 1Th 3:2 and not be shaken with the afflictions the apostles met with, seeing these were no other than what God had appointed them to; and besides, they had been apprized of them before hand by the apostle, 1Th 3:3,4 but however, lest Satan should get an advantage of them, the apostle could not be easy without sending to know how things stood with them, 1Th 3:5 next he proceeds to give an account of the success of this mission, and the satisfaction it gave him and his fellow ministers to hear of their faith and charity, their remembrance of them, and desire to see them, 1Th 3:6 which comforted them under their afflictions, made them lively and cheerful, filled them with joy and thankfulness, and put them upon praying to God to see their face, and perfect what was lacking in their faith, 1Th 3:7-10 and then follow the petitions themselves, which are made both to God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that their way might be directed to them, that they might increase and abound in love to one another, and to all men, as they did to them, and that God would establish them in holiness in his sight, at the coming of Christ, 1Th 3:11-13.

Ver 1. \\Wherefore when we could no longer forbear\\ Or "bear", as the word properly signifies; or "bear that", as the Ethiopic version reads; that is, "that desire", as the Arabic version renders it; that ardent and longing desire of seeing them again, expressed in the latter part of the preceding chapter; which was as fire in their bones, and was retained with great pain and uneasiness; but now they could hold it no longer, and like Jeremiah, Jer 20:9 were weary with forbearing, and could not stay; or it was like a burden, which they stood up under as long as they could, even Paul, Silas, and Timothy, but now it became insupportable:

\\we thought it good to be left at Athens alone\\: that is, Paul and Silas, or Paul only, speaking of himself in the plural number; for he seems to have been alone at Athens, at least at last; he considering everything, thought it most fit and advisable when at Athens, where he waited for Silas and Timothy, having ordered them to come thither to him from Berea, Ac 17:14,15 either to send orders to Berea for Timothy to go from thence to Thessalonica, to know the state of affairs there, and Silas elsewhere; or if they came to him to Athens, of which Luke gives no account, he immediately dispatched Timothy to Thessalonica, and Silas to some other part of Macedonia, for from thence they came to him at Corinth, Ac 18:5 such was his desire of knowing how things were at Thessalonica, that he chose rather to be left alone at Athens, disputing with the unbelieving Jews, and Heathen philosophers of the Epicurean and Stoic sects, sustaining all their scoffs and jeers alone; and was content to be without his useful companions, Silas and Timothy, who might have been assisting to him at Athens, in hope of hearing of his dear friends at Thessalonica. 06448-940725-0731-1Th3.2

1 Thessalonians 3:2-6 In-Context

1 So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens.
2 We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith,
3 so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them.
4 In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know.
5 For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain.
6 But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you.
7 Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith.
8 For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.
9 How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?

Cross References 14

  • 1. S Acts 16:1
  • 2. S 1 Corinthians 3:9
  • 3. S 2 Corinthians 2:12
  • 4. 2 Corinthians 4:17">Mk 2 Corinthians 4:17; John 16:33; Romans 5:3; 2 Corinthians 1:4; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 2 Timothy 3:12
  • 5. S Acts 9:16; Acts 14:22
  • 6. 1 Thessalonians 2:14
  • 7. ver 1
  • 8. ver 2
  • 9. Matthew 4:3
  • 10. Galatians 2:2; Philippians 2:16
  • 11. S Acts 16:1
  • 12. Acts 18:5
  • 13. 1 Thessalonians 1:3
  • 14. 1 Thessalonians 2:17,18
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