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What Did Jesus Say? (2012) - 7 topics 

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Paul Supposedly Agrees Jesus Is Sole Leader, And Jesus Confirms Wages for Preaching

Ray challenges my reading that Paul contradicts Jesus that Jesus is the Sole Pastor / Leader / Teacher. Ray also claims even though Jesus told the apostles to take no wages for preaching and teaching, Ray claims he said put no gold in your pockets (a different verse), and Jesus otherwise tells us preachers / teachers are entitled to pay. Is Ray right? Here is the question and my response:

Ray May 5, 2013

A couple of comments:
"Jesus said there is not to be a single leadership authority among ANY of us except Christ Himself!"
So did Paul:   Col:1:18: And he is the head of the body, the church:
"Finally, in 1 Cor. 9:14 (NIV) Paul bluntly says: "the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel."

But I thought Jesus said to His disciples to lay no cost on anyone they served with preaching or teaching the gospel? "Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give." (Matt. 10:8b.) "

This actually confirms Paul's words.  In Mathew 10, Jesus told his disciples not to take gold, silver or material things with them (v.9-10).  Why?  Because their needs would be supplied by those they ministered to: "the workman is worthy of his meat".   Today, the only compensation received by many of the Lord's people who labour full time for the gospel comes from the ones they serve and preach to.



My Reply


You actually reveal one of the many inconsistencies in Paul which I have noted as well. Paul both says there are "many leaders" and he says Jesus is the "head" of the body. "For though you have countless leaders [paidagogous, lit. leaders] in Christ ...." 1Cor.4:15. As Erasmus said in praise of Paul's rhetoric for a just cause, he "is always skillful and slippery...such a squid, such a chameleon is — he plays the part of Proteus or Vertumnus.” (Holy Scripture Speaks: The Production and Reception of Erasmus’ Paraphrases of the New Testament (ed. Hilmar M. Pabel & Mark Vessey) (University of Toronto Press, 2002) at 105.)
Second, turning to Matthew 10, scholars explain Jesus was referring to a commonly understood custom of hospitality in those days. Or did Jesus mean instead one earned room and board by preaching / teaching? Scholars explain that staying in someone's home meant the boarder should clean, do chores, etc., and could get paid for such work. Thus the "workman" worthy of his labor meant a guest who fulfilled his chores was entitled to stay in the house and get paid for work. Thus, such hospitality was not pay for preaching and teaching. It was given in relation for you doing actual chores, and you being employed as a workman.

I explain this in my article Paul's Self-Serving Use of the Law. Grimshaw explains Jesus in Matthew 10:10 is alluding to this tradition of hospitality wherein:

"the household provides hospitality for sojourners traveling through who might stop for a day or several days on their journey....The sojourner is expected to support the household in exchange for his protection and provision. That support may have been in the form of a hired laborer. As a sojourner labors for the household so they become part of the household economy. In return for their labor, they receive wages and also share in the produce of the sabbatical year (Lev 25:6) as well as receive foodstuffs as part of the household economy. The sojourner turned laborer has the right to gleanings, either those of the field or the vine. Lev 19:10, 23:22, Deut 24:19-21.” (James P. Grimshaw, The Matthean Community and the World: An Analysis of Matthew’s Food Exchange (2008) at 107.)

Any comments?