“But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict“
But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi,
The Thessalonians knew only too well the hassle the gospel team had endured just before they came to Thessalonica. The city officials at Philippi stripped and beat them with rods and cast them into the inner recesses of a dark, dank prison (Acts 16:22-23). They came to Thessalonica with sore feet, and backs to match.
Not only did they endure suffering, but the Philippian officials dished out punishment in a shameful way. They were “spitefully treated” at Philippi. The Greek means that the Philippians abused them publicly. Their intent was to humiliate them and make them a public spectacle.
This was far more than teasing. They beat them publicly although they were Roman citizens. When the public authorities found out they were Roman citizens, they wanted the team to sneak out of town without a peep. The gospel team refused to go until the authorities came in person.
True ministry withstands the blast of criticism and persecution.
Out of the crucible of Philippi came the pure gold of Thessalonica. The gospel team was clearly not in ministry for selfish purposes.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
The Devil tried to cut Paul’s ministry off, but Paul did not stop communicating the gospel. His trials only became a platform for further ministry.