Exodus 36-38 Matthew 23:1-22
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.” (Matthew 23:8-9 NCV)
Have you ever realized that the only people that Jesus criticized harshly were the religious leaders, especially the Pharisees? Think about it. This passage of Jesus’s teachings was his harshest commentary on the Scribes and Pharisees. He began by attacking their demand for respect and honor and then blasted their hypocrisy. Before He attacked the hypocrisy, though, He instructed His followers to avoid seeking honorifics and titles because as His followers, they were all brothers; as His followers today, we are all brothers and sisters. At the same time, as brothers and sisters, we have one Father: God.
The man most instrumental in my early years as a Christian was my Baptist Student Director: Paul Jones. After years of study, he was granted a doctorate. When that happened, at the next gathering of those involved in the work of the BSU, he told us to greet him by saying “Hello, Dr. Jones.” We did. Then he said, “Good, now that we’ve done that, don’t call me Dr. Jones again. I’m still Paul.” He understood Jesus’s message here. He didn’t consider the title important; more important to him was the relationship we had in doing God’s work on the campus.
Lord, keep me humble by reminding me that I’m Your child and that others are either brothers and sisters in Christ, or people that I would love to see as brothers and sisters. Thank You for our family.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.