Luke 17:7-10 NASB

“Now which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him after he comes in from the field, ‘Come immediately and recline at the table to eat’? 8 On the contrary, will he not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and properly [h]clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and [i]afterward you [j]may eat and drink’? 9 He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he? 10 So you too, when you do all the things which were commanded you, say, ‘We are [k]unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’”

In the above text it seems Christ is saying that a servant is not worth to be thanked seeing that he is doing his duty

1 Corinthians 9:14 NASB

8 I am not just asserting these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does the Law not say these things as well? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses: “You shall not muzzle the ox while it is threshing.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He? 10 Or is He speaking entirely for our sake? Yes, it was written for our sake, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing in the crops. 11 If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share [h]from the altar? 14 So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.

Whilst Paul on the other hand quotes the book of Deuteronomy asserting that a servant deserves to be thanked for doing his duty(being taken care of while preaching the gospel)

How can one understand the above texts?

  • Should not the Corinthians shine in the like of the Gospel of Luke? Apr 13, 2022 at 11:43
  • Giving food to a servant (so that he may have strength and vigour to serve) is not related to saying 'Thank you' when he does no more than his duty. I don't see a connection.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 13, 2022 at 14:05

1 Answer 1


These two passages are discussing quite different matters. Specifically:

  • Luke 17:7-10 is discussing the honoring of a person for doing their job; that is, a servant does not need to receive a medal for doing what they are paid to do!
  • 1 Cor 9:8-14 is discussing payment of gospel workers (pastors, priests, church bureaucrats, etc). Paul maintains that people who preach the gospel full-time should be paid and supported by the Christian community (the church)

Thus, the two passages are not in conflict.

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