In chapter 10, Jesus sends out his disciples to proclaim the coming kingdom and to demonstrate it through powerful deeds of mercy and compassion. He instructs them to make no provision for their needs (Matt. 10:9-10), but instead to depend on the generosity of others. He is clear that the gospel is not to become a matter of commerce, “You received without payment; give without payment” (Matt. 10:8).
The lesson here for us is that earning money and thinking about finances are not bad; indeed, it is through our labor that God provides for us, for “the laborers deserve their food” (Matt. 10:10). But the warning is against allowing our earnings to become our primary focus at work. As workers under the Lord of the new kingdom, our primary focus is on the value of the work, not on the paycheck. Jesus’ instructions here are meant to keep God in the forefront of our hearts (cf. James 4:13-16). Whatever the signature at the bottom of our paycheck, God is ultimately underwriting it all.