Wednesday, June 13: Those who exalt themselves will be humbled
We return to our occasional reading from beginning to end through the Gospel of Matthew, which emphasizes Jesus' divine nature and his status as the Messiah—as the Son of David, the Son of Man, and the Son of God.
Read Matthew 23:8-12
"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have one Teacher, 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 instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
Here's another of those places—think "if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out"—where it's hard to know how literally to take Jesus' words. Are we really not to call our dads "father" or someone with a great gift of teaching "instructor"? Or is it more about using honorific titles and other devices to formally, and perhaps undeservedly, bestow glory on a person because of their position of power?
Jesus returns here to his recurring theme of the great reversal, where "the greatest among you will be your servant." Most of us have everyday ways we could exalt ourselves, and all of us have opportunities to humble ourselves. For you in particular, consider one way you could avoid the former, and two ways you could practice the latter. Then go and do!