Why did they pass through these cities and not stop to preach to them? It appears that they went to Thessalonica because it had a synagogue. Maybe the others didn’t.
While that is partially true, why not stop in the previous 2 cities? Those cities were roughly 33 miles and 60 miles respectively from Philippi. Some have assumed they left them to the Philippian church to evangelize.
They were much smaller than Thessalonica. Thessalonica was a strategic city. It was the capital of Macedonia, a center for business, had an excellent harbor and was on the main direct trade route. Population of about 200K, many diverse people groups and a large contingent of Jews.
It was a happening place. Maybe like a Chicago or New York.
So why go there instead of the other 2? Were they not in need of the gospel? Here is where we see a fulfilling of a mission/vision of Paul & Silas.
Paul’s mission/vision was to preach in larger cities and make them the hubs for the church to evangelize. He started the church at Philippi and they were now the hub or center of evangelism for that area.
Thessalonica was going to be the hub or center for evangelism in THAT area.
When any organization has a mission or vision, what it does is focus or narrow their efforts to focus on the task at hand, on the vision and mission.
It allows businesses and churches to disregard good ideas and plans in favor of what their mission is. Paul probably would have done a bang up job in those 2 cities, but that was not his mission/vision.