1 Thessalonians 2 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of 1 Thessalonians 2)

Verse 1

[1] For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain:

What was proposed, 1 Thessalonians 2:13-16.

Verse 2

[2] But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.

We had suffered — In several places.

We are bold — Notwithstanding.

With much contention — Notwithstanding both inward and outward conflicts of all kinds.

Verse 3

[3] For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:

For our exhortation — That is, our preaching. A part is put for the whole.

Is not, at any time, of deceit — We preach not a lie, but the truth of God.

Nor of uncleanness — With any unholy or selfish view. This expression is not always appropriated to lust, although it is sometimes emphatically applied thereto.

Nor in guile — But with great plainness of speech.

Verse 5

[5] For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:

Flattering words — This ye know.

Nor a cloak of covetousness — Of this God is witness. He calls men to witness an open fact; God, the secret intentions of the heart. In a point of a mixed nature, 1 Thessalonians 2:10, he appeals both to God and man.

Verse 6

[6] Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.

Nor from others — Who would have honoured us more, if we had been burdensome - That is, taken state upon ourselves.

Verse 7

[7] But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:

But we were gentle — Mild, tender.

In the midst of you — Like a hen surrounded with her young.

Even as a nurse cherisheth her own children — The offspring of her own womb.

Verse 8

[8] So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.

To impart our own souls — To lay down our lives for your sake.

Verse 10

[10] Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:

Holily — In the things of God.

Justly — With regard to men.

Unblamable — In respect of ourselves.

Among you that believe — Who were the constant observers of our behaviour.

Verse 11

[11] As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,

By exhorting, we are moved to do a thing willingly; by comforting, to do it joyfully; by charging, to do it carefully.

Verse 12

[12] That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

To his kingdom here, and glory hereafter.

Verse 14

[14] For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:

Ye suffered the same things — The same fruit, the same afflictions, and the same experience, at all times, and in all places, are an excellent criterion of evangelical truth.

As they from the Jews — Their countrymen.

Verse 15

[15] Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:

Us — Apostles and preachers of the gospel.

They please not God — Nor are they even careful to please him, notwithstanding their fair professions.

And are contrary to all men — Are common enemies of mankind; not only by their continual seditions and insurrections, and by their utter contempt of all other nations; but in particular, by their endeavouring to hinder their hearing or receiving the gospel.

Verse 16

[16] Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.

To fill up — The measure of their sins always, as they have ever done. But the vengeance of God is come upon them - Hath overtaken them unawares, whilst they were seeking to destroy others, and will speedily complete their destruction.

Verse 17

[17] But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.

In this verse we have a remarkable instance, not so much of the transient affections of holy grief, desire, or joy, as of that abiding tenderness, that loving temper, which is so apparent in all St. Paul's writings, towards those he styles his children in the faith. This is the more carefully to be observed, because the passions occasionally exercising themselves, and flowing like a torrent, in the apostle, are observable to every reader; whereas it requires a nicer attention to discern those calm standing tempers, that fixed posture of his soul, from whence the others only flow out, and which more peculiarly distinguish his character.

Verse 18

[18] Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.

Satan — By those persecuting Jews, Acts 17:13.

Verse 19

[19] For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

Ye also — As well as our other children.