Reverend Richard Edens

Posted on Nov 03 2014
Scripture Reference: Matthew 23:1-12

Matthew 23:1-12
In Matthew’s gospel these words are spoken on the day after Jesus’ humble entry into Jerusalem (our Palm Sunday story) thus Jesus is speaking of humility having just exemplified it. His three parallel prohibitions against giving sovereignty to anyone than God (you have one teacher, … one Father, … one instructor) also outlines a community without higher and lower members, a community of serving, a community of equals. It is a subversive call to solidarity and service.

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the market-places, and to have people call them rabbi.

But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.