The Real Deal

No Blog Podcast This Week

As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

2 Thessalonians 3:13-17 [ESV]

Watching and Waiting | South Padre Island, TX | September 2023

Diane and I have seen Itzhak Perlman in person two times. The famous and incredibly gifted violinist performed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra two decades ago and his virtuosity was stunning and obvious. I recall watching him walk onto the stage in a gate that made obvious the toll polio had taken on him in his youth. He walked with leg braces and payed sitting down. But oh my! Did he play. Just this year we saw him again. He had obviously aged. He made his way onto stage on a motorized scooter, and played from the seat of the scooter. But his musical abilities, beauty of his touch, tone, and interpretive genius made it clear, this was the real deal…the genuine Perlman. His performance was brilliant. We were delighted to have seen him again.

Paul makes a point of identifying himself in this letter by signing his name in large letters. He even points to this self-attestation saying this authenticating is his normal way of letting people know it was really he who was writing. Paul wanted the people who read this letter, and those who heard it to know that it had come from Paul and not some imitation pseudo-apostle.

Had someone else shown up on the night of the Perlman concert we would have been disappointed. He or she might have played the violin as well as Perlman. The notes might have been even crisper. But we had come to see and hear Perlman.

But the stakes are much higher in the case of Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians. Eternal truths hung in the balance. In fact he was making certain that other teachers were not distracting them from the truth that Paul had proclaimed. He was attesting to the veracity of this letter because he was an apostle. This call was from God. It carried with it a great weight of responsibility. He conveyed the truth of the Gospel to the people there. He corrected false teachings and misunderstandings. He pointed people again and again to God’s gift of grace and peace through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus alone is the real deal. And Paul will do whatever is necessary to point people to Jesus and the promise of eternal life and joy through faith in him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: