I’ve been walking through Matthew in a study of the words of Christ. It has been a stroll, reading, praying and listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit within to bring understanding as promised. It has been done intentionally without research. I will be returning to points that need further explanation later, perhaps in the light of culture during Jesus’ time, to research and delve deeper into what is said. For now it has been a delightful stroll.
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples,
The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden. “Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi.’
Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters.
And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father.
And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah.
The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
Pasted from <http://nlt.scripturetext.com/matthew/23.htm>
Who do we honor? Who do we give names of respect? Who do we look to for direction, teaching, guiding?
We emulate Him, but do not take His place. We follow His example, become His hands, feet, mouth, but never take His position, His name.
We teach, we guide and build up, but never become the source. We are trained, equipped to continue His work through our study of His Word, prayer, the wise counsel of others who follow Him with His help, His example always before us. But He receives the glory, it is all done in His name, , His strength, His power, not ours.
We provide leadership, under His direction – we provide instruction, under His administration – we stand beside one another, giving what is needed when it is needed, provision and guidance, but He is our source of provision.
Three points of service to one another; Rabbi – leadership, Teacher – instruction and understanding, Father – provider and guide. He is who He says He is, and we are who He says we are.