Monday, 13 June 2016
Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. Galatians 6:6
There is a conjunction at the beginning of this verse in the Greek, de or “but,” which has not been translated by the NKJV. Some other versions include it, such as the BSB –
“However, the one who receives instruction in the word must share in all good things with his instructor.” Berean Study Bible
The conjunction is not superfluous, but is given as an exception to the previous verse which said, “For each one shall bear his own load.” Paul has admonished that all will bear their own load, but he doesn’t intend that this means we shouldn’t think of the needs of others, and particularly concerning the needs of ministers. In their case, Paul highlights an exception.
“Let him who is taught the word” includes any who receive instruction from a minister of the word. If they do, they are included in this verse. For them, they are “to share in all good things with him who teaches.” In other words, what their lives are blessed with should become the same things that the minister of the word is blessed with.
If the recipient of the word is blessed with grain, they should share their grain with their instructor. If they are blessed with oranges, they should also share their oranges. And if their income is of money, then they should be willing to share of that income with their minister. This is because the minister is fulfilling a job which also takes of his time, his efforts, and which is a part of his devotion to God.
Having explained this, Vincent’s Word Studies disagrees that this verse is speaking of blessing a minister with the temporal blessings which the student provides to the minister. Rather, his analysis says –
“…that the disciple should make common cause with the teacher in everything that is morally good and that promotes salvation. The introduction at this point of the relation of disciple and teacher may be explained by the fact that this relation in the Galatian community had been disturbed by the efforts of the Judaising teachers, notably in the case of Paul himself; and this disturbance could not but interfere with their common moral effort and life.”
In other words, Vincent’s deems this verse as one of participation in the same conduct as the teacher of the word, rather than one of giving to a minister of the word. If this is so, then the one so participating is susceptible to being led down the primrose path.
One goes to an instructor for instruction. If the instructor provides faulty instruction, then the one participating in that faulty instruction has only the faulty instruction of the instructor to be instructed by! To “share in all good things with him who teaches” would then require discernment and follow-up study by the one being taught.
This analysis actually fits with the tenor of the coming verses quite well though and is not to be discarded, though it is a minority opinion.
Life application: The first analysis of this verse, that of caring for one’s minister, is something which is certainly appropriate to do. However, the second analysis is given so that a contrasting, yet valid, view can be considered. Always study to show YOURSELF approved after listening to the instruction of the instructor. Sound doctrine doesn’t end with his instruction, it only begins there.
Lord God, as we are all on different levels of knowledge in relation to Your word, please send us sound teachers and instructors in it who will properly handle an evaluation of it. Help us not to get caught up in crazy doctrine which only detracts from a close and personal walk with You. Thank You for the preachers and teachers in my own life. Help me to be willing to support them, just as they have edified me. Amen.