2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
Our family was divided during the mid 1960s when my two maternal uncles, James and Mel, moved with their families to Oregon from Texas. This move was very difficult on my family, especially my grandmother.
As hard as this departure was it actually became the foundation of some of my best childhood memories: my uncle's visits from Oregon. When we all knew they were coming there was excitement and great anticipation. We were a family with troubles and divisions, but when James and Mel came all that disappeared. We were all happy, joking, and enjoying being a family. Cobblers and pies on the window sills, and food spread through grandma's house. And I am at a loss of words to describe the change that would come over my grandmother. There was a look on her face of total joy... peace... happiness. Wow... even now I tear-up remembering that glow.
This is the language of Paul in the passage. We are told clearly that Jesus is going to come here from where ever He is now. His coming will be as literal as my uncles coming from Oregon.
He is coming to us --His family-- we who know Him by faith, and He’s not coming to sight-see.
In this text “Coming of” means “arrival as the first stage in presence.” BDAG The word was used of dignitaries coming to town. In many cases there would be a great ceremony or procession (parade) at the “coming” of the dignitary.
Paul chose this word specifically for the first stage of Jesus’ return. This will be a beginning… a new beginning for the world and, more specifically, for those of us who follow Him.
“Gathering together” is translated from a single noun which cannot be mistaken in its meaning. It means an “assembling”, “to come together at a particular location”, or “a gathering together in one place.”
So the two words together tell us there will be a great gathering of a specific group of people when Jesus comes. This, for sure, has not happened yet... but it will happen.
When Jesus comes those who have trusted Him will all participate in a big family get together. We will do it with all the joy of a family fully united for the first time. All the problems and conflicts will be over... I can't wait! And for some reason I think I will see the same countenance on Jesus' face that I saw on my Grandmother's face...