1 Thessalonians 2:13 – 16
v13: For this reason: Because of these Kingdom promises we have received – being called
into His Kingdom and glory.
• Without ceasing: Continuously. Ongoing. At all times. Paul often talks about praying
without ceasing. He was a man of prayer. This constant prayer, more than anything
else, probably had the greatest impact on the life and ministry of Paul.
• Report: Some Bibles translate this as the verb ‘heard’, but it is a noun and should
therefore be translated ‘report’.
• We…Us: Paul and his companions (Timothy, Silvanus etc).
• Not as the word of men: They didn’t receive the Word as if it were coming from a
• But as it is in truth (truly): Paul is writing in a very purposeful way. He is wanting to
emphasise that we need to deal with the Word of G-d correctly. Many people today
do not preach the Word of G-d as if it is literal (eg they say Adam and Eve weren’t
literal people, but were symbols depicting the whole human race or the flood was
just a story and didn’t really happen, or …etc etc). Many people do not see the
Word as the Word of G-d and without error. They see it as the teachings of man and
not G-d’s perfect revelation to us.
• Effectively works in you: It produces fruit in our lives. It brings about a change.
• You who believe: We need to believe and confess that Yeshua, having been
crucified, is the risen and divine Son of G-d. If we don’t believe that then we are not
v14: Imitators: Some Bibles translate this word as ‘followers’. Although we are followers of
Yeshua, we are called to be even more than that – we are called to imitate Him – to behave
as He did. We will never be the Son of G-d, but we have become the children of G-d, heirs of
G-d, servants of G-d. Yeshua is the only divine Son of G-d. We are human beings (not divine),
endowed with the Spirit of G-d in order that we might do the work of G-d.
• Churches: Congregations. The Thessalonian congregation (Paul’s call was to preach
to the Gentiles, so this would have been a predominantly Gentile church) imitated
the Judean (Jewish) congregations. This congregation in Thessaloniki was suffering
in the same way (‘imitating’) that the congregation in Judea (Jerusalem/Israel) were
Note: This verse destroys the teaching that some (Messianic) congregations hold to today
i.e. that the law has greater relevance for Jewish believers than non-Jewish believers.
• You also suffered the same things from your own countrymen (fellow Gentiles): Our
faith in the message of the gospel, the truth of G-d’s revelation, causes us to be
rejected and persecuted by those who belong to the world.
• Just as they (the Jews) did (receive persecution) from the Jews (Jewish leadership –
Pharisees and Sadducees etc): The majority of Jewish people living in Israel, at the
time when Paul was alive, weren’t persecuting the believers. This term ‘Jew’ would
be better translated ‘Judeans’ and it refers to those leaders who held to the oral
traditions of the elders. It was these individuals primarily who were persecuting the
believers and not the Jewish people as a whole. In the second part of this verse, it is
speaking about Jewish believers who were suffering at the hands of other Jewish
people – not the Jewish people in general.
v15: Who killed ..the L-rd and their own prophets: This is referring to the Judeans, those in
leadership (and not the Jewish nation as a whole).
Note: See John 7:12-13. These people at the Feast of Tabernacles were Jewish people who
had gathered there from all around the world. The Feast of Tabernacles was one of the
three festivals that the people were required to observe in Jerusalem. It is in regard to these
Jewish individuals that it is said: “they were afraid of the Jews” – ie They were fearful of
those Jews who were in the leadership positions in Jerusalem – not all the leaders, but a
majority of them.
• Killed the L-rd…killed the prophets: There’s a consistency about them. This world
(unbelieving Jews and Gentiles) is opposed to the things of G-d, and they will
persecute those who believe – this is what the Thessalonian church was
• Contrary (against) to all men: Yeshua, Paul, the apostles, the prophets etc were not
in opposition to humanity. They weren’t wanting to do things that caused humanity
problems. On the contrary they wanted to share G-d’s word of redemption and
restoration with people. But this is not the way these people come. They desire to
v16: Forbidding us: Hindering us. In the book of Galatians, the Judaizers, who were
supposedly from James, (they respected Yeshua, they believed that He was the Messiah)
didn’t have the gospel straight. They were saying that salvation is faith plus works. They
were also saying that one must first convert to become a Jew in order to only then have the
gospel preached to them (See also Acts 15). They were trying to stop Paul from preaching
the gospel message to the Gentiles.
• Fill up the measure of their sins: There are going to be consequences for those who
hinder the gospel or who stand in opposition to the things of G-d.
• Wrath has come upon them: They are going to experience the wrath of G-d.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 – 16