What does "Every man is worth his labor" mean?


1 Timothy 5:18

ESV - 18 For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain," and, "The laborer deserves his wages.

Clarify Share Report Asked January 14 2017 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
To me, Paul is saying in this verse that those who devote their time and effort in service to God and in the furthering of His kingdom by making disciples and ministering to others should not be expected to do so without some form of material reward for their work (even though the main focus of those workers is on spiritual matters, rather than earthly concerns).

In doing so, Paul is reiterating (in almost the same words) the instruction of Jesus in Luke 10:7 to the seventy disciples whom He sent out in pairs to prepare the way for Him in the towns where He was planning to travel and teach. He told the disciples to accept lodging, food, and drink that would be offered to them while they were in these towns, since that would be compensation that they deserved for the work that they were doing for God.

This same thought is expressed in an agricultural context in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 25:4)(as quoted by Paul in the verse cited in the question) in the form of a command from Moses (speaking on God's behalf) to the Israelites to allow cattle or oxen that assist in the cultivation and harvesting of grain by pulling plows or other farm implements to feed themselves with the grain that would fall by the wayside, rather than the farmers insisting on gathering every bit of grain and making the beasts go hungry, with no benefit for their effort.

January 14 2017 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

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