1那時，耶穌對眾人和門徒講論，2 說：「文士和法利賽人坐在摩西的位上，3 凡他們所吩咐你們的，你們都要謹守遵行。但不要效法他們的行為；因為他們能說，不能行。4 他們把難擔的重擔捆起來，擱在人的肩上，但自己一個指頭也不肯動。5 他們一切所做的事都是要叫人看見，所以將佩戴的經文做寬了，衣裳的繸子做長了，6 喜愛筵席上的首座，會堂裏的高位，7 又喜愛人在街市上問他安，稱呼他拉比（拉比就是夫子）。8 但你們不要受拉比的稱呼，因為只有一位是你們的夫子；你們都是弟兄。9 也不要稱呼地上的人為父，因為只有一位是你們的父，就是在天上的父。10 也不要受師尊的稱呼，因為只有一位是你們的師尊，就是基督。11 你們中間誰為大，誰就要作你們的用人。12 凡自高的，必降為卑；自卑的，必升為高。
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[a] 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.[b] 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
- 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 repeated condemns play-acting, which is what the word we translate “hypocrite” actually means. The dichotomy between appearance and reality, between word and deed, draws Jesus’ criticism (vv13-33).
- 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 I keep from being hypocrite: teaching one thing and doing another?
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little while longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.
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.