Worthy Of His Hire

"And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house" (Luke 10:7).

These words of the Lord Jesus are of special significance in a number of ways. They were part of His commissioning instructions, as it were, as He was sending out His disciples on what could be considered the first Christian missionary journey, in preparation perhaps for the worldwide mission on which He would be sending them soon. As such, there are a number of principles that could be applicable to all who "labor" for the Lord.

They were not to go begging for support "from house to house," but they were free to accept such help as was offered. It was not their responsibility to win converts, but simply to witness, with the responsibility to believe resting entirely on the hearers. For those who would not receive them, the disciples' remaining responsibility was simply to warn them of judgment to come (see Luke 10:10-16).

Another important general principle is that those who are called to full-time service for the Lord are worthy of support by those they serve, rather than having also to be holding down a secular job to make a living. That support should be adequate, but need not be lavish.

One other unique aspect of this verse is that it is the only verse in the New Testament which is later quoted as Scripture in the New Testament. "For the scripture saith, . . . The laborer is worthy of his reward" (I Timothy 5:18). One of the purposes of setting aside a holiday called Labor Day is to recognize the value of honest, useful work. Even those Christians in so-called secular labor can rightfully regard it as "to the Lord" (Colossians 3:23), but it is especially appropriate to honor those who, like "the beloved Persis," have "labored much in the Lord" (Romans 16:12). HMM

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