|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:1-14 It is not new for a minister to meet with unkind returns for good-will to a people, and diligent and successful services among them. To the cavils of some, the apostle answers, so as to set forth himself as an example of self-denial, for the good of others. He had a right to marry as well as other apostles, and to claim what was needful for his wife, and his children if he had any, from the churches, without labouring with his own hands to get it. Those who seek to do our souls good, should have food provided for them. But he renounced his right, rather than hinder his success by claiming it. It is the people's duty to maintain their minister. He may wave his right, as Paul did; but those transgress a precept of Christ, who deny or withhold due support.
Verse 14. - Hath the Lord ordained (Matthew 10:10;.Luke 10:7). The reference has special interest, because it shows that St. Paul was at least orally familiar with the discourses of Christ. Indeed, there is nothing impossible or improbable in the supposition that some of these were already being circulated in manuscript. Should live of the gospel. If, that is, they desired and had need to do so. He does not say, "to live of the altar," because Christians have no "altar" except in the metaphorical sense in which the cross is called an altar in Hebrews 13:10.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Even so hath the Lord ordained,.... That is, the Lord Jesus Christ, in Matthew 10:10 it is an order and appointment of his that his ministering servants, who labour in preaching his Gospel, should be sufficiently taken care of, as to a comfortable livelihood; he has not indeed fixed it in the same way as the priests and Levites had theirs under the law; but as the one was just and right, that they should be maintained out of the things belonging to the temple and altar, and live on them, so it is his will and pleasure,
that they which preach the Gospel; that continue to do so, that labour, and not loiter in the word and doctrine, who do the work of the ministry fully and faithfully, and not bear the name only of Gospel preachers: should live of the Gospel; not the Gospel itself, which is spiritual, and not corporeal food; but the sense is, that in consideration and because of their preaching the Gospel, they should be supplied with the proper necessaries of life: the learned Mr. Mede has proved, by various instances, that the word here rendered "Gospel", and which signifies good news and glad tidings, is in other writers used for a reward, given to such that bring good tidings; and has rightly observed, that the Hebrew word which signifies the same, is used in a like sense in 2 Samuel 4:10 and accordingly the sense here will be, that it is the ordination of Christ, that such who faithfully bring the news and glad tidings of salvation to sinners, should, as a reward for such good news, be provided for with a comfortable maintenance, on which they should live.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. Even so—The only inference to be drawn from this passage is, not that the Christian ministry is of a sacrificial character as the Jewish priesthood, but simply, that as the latter was supported by the contributions of the people, so should the former. The stipends of the clergy were at first from voluntary offerings at the Lord's Supper. At the love-feast preceding it every believer, according to his ability, offered a gift; and when the expense of the table had been defrayed, the bishop laid aside a portion for himself, the presbyters, and deacons; and with the rest relieved widows, orphans, confessors, and the poor generally [Tertullian, Apology, 39]. The stipend was in proportion to the dignity and merits of the several bishops, presbyters, and deacons [Cyprian, c. 4, ep. 6].
preach … gospel—plainly marked as the duty of the Christian minister, in contrast to the ministering about sacrifices (Greek) and waiting at the altar of the Jewish priesthood and Levites (1Co 9:13). If the Lord's Supper were a sacrifice (as the Mass is supposed to be), this fourteenth verse would certainly have been worded so, to answer to 1Co 9:13. Note the same Lord Christ "ordains" the ordinances in the Old and in the New Testaments (Mt 10:10; Lu 10:7).
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