1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
And we beseech you, brothers, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;…
I. THE PASTOR'S WORK. The Thessalonian elders —
1. "Laboured among" the people committed to their charge. And the labour of a faithful Christian minister may be regarded as comprehending —
(1) The physical labour of preaching the gospel in public, and of visiting the people in private.
(2) The intellectual labour of study.
(3) The moral labour of keeping his own soul in order for the right discharge of his vocation.
2. They were "over" the people "in the Lord." The original denotes superintendence, and from the view given throughout the New Testament of the functions of Christian office bearers, that it comprehends both pastoral vigilance and ecclesiastical rule.
3. They "admonished," i.e., did not confine their instructions to general and abstract statements of Divine troth, but brought that truth closely to bear on particular circumstances and character.
II. THE DUTIES OF PEOPLE TO MINISTER.
1. They were to "know" them, i.e., own or acknowledge them "in the Lord," i.e., in deference to the authority and according to the wise and salutary regulations of their Master. This acknowledgment, of course, was to be practical as well as verbal. The Thessalonians were to render it, not only by speaking of these office bearers of their Church as their spiritual guides and overseers, but by attending to their ministry, asking their advice, submitting to their discipline, and providing for their maintenance.
2. They were to "esteem" them "Very highly in love for their work's sake"; that is, regard them with mingled emotions of respect and affection, because of the nature of their office and because of their fidelity in fulfilling it. This twofold mode of treating ministers was calculated to promote the religious improvement of the. people and to encourage, pastors.
3. "And be at peace among yourselves." Social peace among true Christmas is highly important, both for their own mutual improvement and personal comfort, and for the recommendation of religion to the world; and it is to be maintained by the cultivation both of unanimity of sentiment and of kindliness of feeling (Colossians 3:12-16; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13; 1 Corinthians 3:3-7).
(A. S. Patterson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;