If possible, read the whole chapter to see the full picture of what is happening here.
Then focus on the following section:
1Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2”The teachers of the law and the
Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3So 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. 4They tie up
heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to
lift a finger to move them. 5”Everything they do is done for men to see: They make
their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6they love the place
of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7they love to
be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’ 8”But you are not
to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do
not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor
are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11The greatest
among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and
whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
1. Jesus’ disciples are commanded not to accept the title rabbi, father, or teacher,
for there is only one final and authoritative teacher – not Moses or Solomon,
but the Christ (v10). Thus, Jesus’ followers must always remain learners. Those
who exalt themselves will be humbled and vice versa (v12). Jesus repeatedly
condemns play-acting, which is what the word “hypocrite” actually means.
Jesus’ criticism is aimed at the dichotomy between appearance and reality,
between word and deed.
2. The scribes and Pharisees were the professors of their time. They studied
Scripture in minute detail and memorized huge chunks of it. Yet all of their study
and memorization didn’t keep them from doing things contrary to what they
were studying. How can you keep from being hypocrite: teaching one thing and
Prayer & Journaling:
On your prayer journal, as you listen to God, write down a few thoughts, questions,
words, names, drawings, or anything that has come to your mind during this time.
Proverbs for Today: Prov 3:31-35
Talk about the meaning of being exalted and being humbled. Share a time when
you thought too highly of yourself and were humiliated because of it. Look up
and read aloud Matt 20:26; John 6:3; and 1 Cor 10:12. Have someone to pray
asking God to give each of you true humility.