“…because they went forth for His name’s sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles.”
because they went forth for His name’s sake,
The traveling preachers sent from John went out in Jesus’ name. “Went forth” is a missionary idea. It is an honor to go out in His name [This is the only New Testament book that does not mention the name of Jesus Christ].
taking nothing from the Gentiles
John’s traveling preachers did not solicit funds from non-Christians. They stayed with Christians such as Gaius. “Gentiles” is a name for non-Christians. It does not give honor to the name of Christ to receive funds from non-Christians. These itinerant preachers were free from greed (2 Co. 2:17; 1 Ti. 5:17,18).
God’s people should support God’s work.
To represent Jesus Christ is a supreme honor. We minister for the glory of His name, not our own.
Ac 5: 41 “So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”
Ro 1: 5 “Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name…”
Ph 2: 9 “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
We should not press this point to mean that we can never receive anything from non-Christians who voluntarily offer gifts to Christians. Jesus accepted water from the sinful Samaritan woman. The point here is that itinerate evangelists should not as policy seek support from non-Christians. God’s work done in God’s way will never suffer God’s blessing.
2 Co 2: 17 “For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.”
Generous support for those who teach about the Lord is a biblical standard.
1 Ti 5: 17 “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor [reference in context is to salary], especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. 18 For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,’ and, ‘The laborer is worthy of his wages.’”