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.
1Co 9:1-27. He Confirms His Teaching as to Not Putting a Stumbling-block in a Brother's Way (1Co 8:13) BY His Own Example in Not Using His Undoubted Rights as an Apostle, so as to Win Men to Christ.
1. Am I not an apostle? am I not free?—The oldest manuscripts read the order thus, "Am I not free? am I not an apostle?" He alludes to 1Co 8:9, "this liberty of yours": If you claim it, I appeal to yourselves as the witnesses, have not I also it? "Am I not free?" If you be so, much more I. For "am I not an apostle?" so that I can claim not only Christian, but also apostolic, liberty.
have I not seen Jesus—corporeally, not in a mere vision: compare 1Co 15:8, where the fact of the resurrection, which he wishes to prove, could only be established by an actual bodily appearance, such as was vouchsafed to Peter and the other apostles. In Ac 9:7, 17 the contrast between "the men with him seeing no man," and "Jesus that appeared unto thee in the way," shows that Jesus actually appeared to him in going to Damascus. His vision of Christ in the temple (Ac 22:17) was "in a trance." To be a witness of Christ's resurrection was a leading function of an apostle (Ac 1:22). The best manuscripts omit "Christ."
ye my work in the Lord—Your conversion is His workmanship (Eph 2:10) through my instrumentality: the "seal of mine apostleship" (1Co 9:2).