2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 Bible Study and Commentary
Last time Paul asked that the people pray for him and that God’s word would be delivered freely and work in the lives of people. He also wanted God’s love to continue to work through the church and that the people would be patient waiting for the Lord’s return.
6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
8 Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
Paul begins with a command. Not just any command but a command made in the name of the Lord Jesus. Paul wants people to remove themselves from the company of those that did not walk or live according to the teachings of Paul and the traditions that he had taught them. The idea is that these people willingly disobeyed. Paul explains that he taught them well and showed them by example how to act and live. In other words there wasn’t any ambiguity.
Apparently there were people taking advantage of the church and instead of helping the church they were taking their resources. The church did give out help to those in need, but apparently some had stopped working and Paul makes sure that those that have stopped working and are able to work should not receive food or help from the church. Paul explains that even he did not take from the church when he was with them, but instead worked for his own food and keep. He worked night and day so that he could pay his way.
Paul said that when we were with you that he commanded the church that if a person didn’t work that shouldn’t eat. Some might think this is harsh, but work is part of God’s plan. He doesn’t want us to be idle or dependent on others. He wants us to work and be the right example for the society around us.
Paul had every right to allow the church to take care of him, yet he refused.
In verse eleven we get to the heart of the matter. There were people who had not only become unruly, stopped working, but also that they had become busybodies. In other words they buzzed around but didn’t actually do anything. Perhaps they even caused trouble by getting into other people’s business. Today the church is full of people who buzz around, but don’t actually contribute anything to the work of Christ. We are to work for our living, and work for the Lord. It is possible that some of these people stopped working because they thought the Lord was returning. In fact, the idea of the Lord returning should prompt us to work even more.
Paul in verse 12 commands that these people work and do it quietly. Paul then encourages those faithful brethren to not grow weary in doing good. I would imagine that these people were working hard at earning a living and working hard to spread the Gospel. We know that they had a great labor of love for the church and others outside the church. The word labor means to the point of exhaustion. Notice he said well doing, and not well talking about doing something. Many people have good intensions and say they will start doing something for the Lord or start serving him more, but talk is cheap. We aren’t supposed to be a burden, we are supposed to be a help.