The scribes and Pharisees placed themselves above others. They worked hard to gain a “better seat” or a prominent position in the synagogue. Their heart was in the wrong place! Instead of working to set an example for others to follow, they worked solely for personal gain. Titles meant something to them and they really wanted to be called “rabbi!”
Jesus points out that they have only one teacher and that none of them should be called “rabbi” because they are all students! While they appeared on the surface to be very pious people, they were far from piety! Jesus wants those who hear his words to understand that the kingdom of God is marked by humility. In other words, those who follow Jesus must recognize that there is only ONE master and it ain’t us! When we are able to keep our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus, and when we follow his examples and his commandments, then we will understand that all the glory goes to God and God alone.
Think about what Jesus did. Jesus never took credit for any of the miracles he did—he always gave the credit to God. Over and over Jesus points out that he does nothing except through the Father. We should take that same view. I can tell you this, every time I have gone out on my own, leaving God behind, I messed things up. It is only when I listen to God, when I turn things over to God alone, that my life begins to make sense. Try it, you just might be surprised! Amen.