The Word at Work
Thessalonica was a wealthy and influential city in Macedonia. Paul visited it in AD 50-51, on his second missionary journey. His preaching resulted in both Jews and Greeks being converted and a church planted (See Acts 17: 1-9).
After about 3 weeks, Paul was forced out of the city by a mob, whipped up by the Jews who were jealous of Paul’s influence. The new converts were inevitably exposed to persecution, for which they were imperfectly prepared, as Paul had not had the time to give them all the basic teaching which he thought they required.
At the earliest opportunity, Paul (in Corinth, Acts 18:5) sent Timothy back to see how these new Christians were getting on. Overjoyed on hearing a good report from Timothy, he wrote this letter to them to explain his abrupt departure and to further instruct them in their faith. He particularly wanted to see them grow in faith, love, holiness and hope.