“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. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; 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: not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10
Verse six begins a command from the apostle. Coming from Paul we can rest assured it is from the Lord through Paul, and to him and us.
The word “Tradition” used here is like verse fifteen chapter two which again is not speaking of religious traditions of men, but the word of God which we are commanded to pass on from generation to generation.
The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is part of that tradition. His sinless life, His glory and power are a part as well. The promise of His return is as much a part as is the crucifixion. Also these commandments that have to do with work. Manual labor, earning an income, providing for your family, and yourself gives an individual a sense of satisfaction, self-worth, and the ability to give to preaching of the gospel and to others you see in need.
Paul had no desire to be associated with the socially elite of his day in Thessalonica, or any other city. They despised work; and the slaves who did their work for them. There were also those who had quit their jobs, or sold their business because of the false teaching that had gone on among them, and now were totally dependent upon the Church for support. Paul had the right and authority to request support from the Chruch; but did not. Paul has made it much better for the Church of today by his sacrifice. There are many pastors, evangelist, and others who do work in the gospel ministry, and are supported solely by the generous gifts and offerings of their Church, and other generous souls; because the word of God teaches that to be right to do so. It should be that way in order for the word of God to be preached and understood.
Verse ten is a strong statement that many need to be reminded of. This is a commandment, not a request, or suggestion.