8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons; freely you have received, freely give.
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. [To be one of His sheep, you must belong to Him, be free from all sin, and be in union with Him. From the Word of the Lord within: "If you are still sinning, you belong to sin and not to Me. Listen to and obey my voice; listen to my sweet words of wisdom. If you pay attention and obey, it results in union with God. He joins with our cleansed nature. We must become like Him to merge with Him."]
12 The hireling [working for a salary] does not own the sheep like the [good] shepherd; so when he sees a wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and flees. Then the wolf seizes the sheep and scatters them. [The hireling is a preacher taking a salary, soliciting contributions, or soliciting love gifts; he works for money, and he is not leading the sheep because of his love for them. So, when any danger threatens, he abandons the congregation. In contrast, because a good shepherd loves the sheep, he will risk his life to save the sheep. A true preacher is authorized by the Lord, has been perfected by the Master, and the Lord dwells in him, guiding his every action and his every word.]
13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling [working for pay], and does not love the sheep.2 [Jesus spoke against preachers who work for money, as did Peter, as did Paul, as did Jude, as does the Old Testament.]
|1 Peter 5:2|
2 Feed the flock of God that is among you, serving as an overseer, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre [money], but readily;2 [Paul also wrote of those who preached for filthy lucre: For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, especially of the circumcision whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things they ought not to teach for filthy lucre's sake. Titus 1:10-11.]
|2 Corinthians 2:17|
17 For we are not like so many, who peddle the word of God for profit; but we are speaking in Christ before God as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God.2 [From the Word of the Lord within: "The gregarious make a living teaching the scriptures. We stand in the presence of God speaking forth His words as commanded." Unless you are sent to specific person(s), and unless you then only speak words as commanded, you are seeking your own glory: He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of the One who sent him, that man is true, and there is no unrighteousness in him. John 7:18 ]
|1 Corinthians 9:18 |
18 What is my reward then? Truly, that when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel of Christ without charge,1 so that I do not abuse my right in the gospel.