No obstacles (1 Cor. 9:12)

“If others share

This rightful claim

Upon you,

Do not we still more?

Nevertheless,

We have not made use

Of this right,

But we endure anything

Rather than put

An obstacle

In the way

Of the gospel

Of Christ.”

εἰ ἄλλοι τῆς ὑμῶν ἐξουσίας μετέχουσιν, οὐ μᾶλλον ἡμεῖς; ἀλλ’ οὐκ ἐχρησάμεθα τῇ ἐξουσίᾳ ταύτῃ, ἀλλὰ πάντα στέγομεν ἵνα μή τινα ἐνκοπὴν δῶμεν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ τοῦ Χριστοῦ.

Paul said if others share this rightful claim upon them (εἰ ἄλλοι τῆς ὑμῶν ἐξουσίας μετέχουσιν), did not he as well still more (οὐ μᾶλλον ἡμεῖς)?  Nevertheless, he was not going to make use of this right (ἀλλ’ οὐκ ἐχρησάμεθα τῇ ἐξουσίᾳ ταύτῃ), but he would endure anything (ἀλλὰ πάντα στέγομεν) rather than put an obstacle or hindrance (ἵνα μή τινα ἐνκοπὴν δῶμεν) in the way of the gospel of Christ (τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ τοῦ Χριστοῦ). Only the Pauline letters used this word μετέχουσιν, that means to partake of, participate, or share in, and the word στέγομεν, that means to cover closely, to bear up under, or endure patiently, and the word ἐνκοπὴν, that means a hindrance or an interruption.  Paul pointed out that these Corinthian Christians had people that had a claim on their lives.  Paul insisted that he too had a greater claim on their lives.  However, he was not going to use this claim or right.  Rather, he was willing to endure patiently and not put any obstacle or hindrance on the gospel of Christ.  Paul said that he had rights or claims on these Christian Corinthians, but he was not going to use them.  He did not want any excuses because these claims for material goods might be a hinderance or obstacle to the preaching about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Do you think that Christian ministers stress too much about material rewards?