Wednesday Word 11.04.2020
Matthew 23:1-12 New International Version
“23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. 5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others. 8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
It is easy to be impressed by people in positions of prominence. We see those who look so confident and in the know and want to hear what they have to say. We can be easily influenced by what we hear and see in the marketplace from those who appear to be at the forefront. Today, there are even professionals actually called “influencers.” Lots of people like to be part of the latest trends so that some measure of success or sense of belonging can be conferred upon them by virtue of their participation. Sometimes we chase what turns out to be mere fad instead of real merit.
In this passage, Jesus impressed upon those gathered that there were lessons to be learned, even from the hypocrites who cared more for the perks of their position than for the teachings that gave them preferred status. The law dating back to Moses was essential. The behavior of many who were meant to be the caretakers of that law was repugnant and was to be arduously avoided. Instead, the example to be emulated was of the servant who didn’t hesitate to humble himself. We must never forget that it is the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit that we must rely upon. It is the example of Jesus Christ that must be our teacher… something to pray about.
Your sister in Christ, Vicki