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Read Introduction to 1 Thessalonians


“…who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men…“


Paul levels six charges against the Jews in verses fifteen and sixteen.

who killed both the Lord Jesus

First, the Jews in Judea killed the Lord Jesus in Jerusalem, Judea (2:14).

“Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God” (John 5:18).

Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know— “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; “whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it” (Acts 2:22-24).

and their own prophets,

Secondly, the Jews also killed their very own prophets.

and have persecuted us;

Thirdly, the Jews also persecuted Christians throughout Judea. The word “persecuted” comes from two words: out and to pursue. They pursued Christians out of Judea. This carries the idea of driving out or banishing Christians systematically from their province. They put together a program to harass Christians.

and they do not please God

Fourthly, these Jews were not acceptable to God. They thought that they pleased God by their fanatic religious ideas, but their zeal did not please God at all. No rationalization justifies this kind of action.

“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:7-8).

Those who please God do not primarily please themselves or others. They please God by faith.

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

and are contrary to all men

Fifthly, the Jews were “contrary to all men.” The word “contrary” means over against. The religionists of Judea operated in a way that was contrary to or a reversal of how people should operate. They used hostility as their mode of operation. This is perversity. Paul himself, before his conversion, was one of these persecutors (Acts 26:14-15).


An operating principle of the Christian life is to live to please the Lord.


Are you living to please the Lord? This may mean that you may not please your friends at times. If they criticize you, so be it. People constantly hurt by what others say about them are usually ineffectual. It is very difficult to live a dynamic Christian life and wear thin skin.

“Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him” (2 Corinthians 5: 9).