Matthew 23: 1-12
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
“Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
The power of an office in the right hands can work for the good of all, but power in the wrong hands can become deadly. The religious leaders were to teach the law that God had given to Moses for the people to live by. Jesus warns the people that they are to honor and obey the teachings of the law but they are not to live as the teachers do. The teachers and the Pharisees had placed heavy loads of traditions along with the law of Moses to burden the peoples down while they exalted themselves to be seen for their places of honor. We have only one Master. We have only one Father who is in heaven. Jesus is our teacher. Jesus teaches us that if we are to be great, we will be a humble servant to others. If we exalt ourselves, God will humble us. If we humble ourselves, God will exalt us.
Father help us to remember that if we are to exalt you, we must humble ourselves to be your servant to others that they will see you in us. We desire to bring glory and honor to your word through our obedience to you. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.