“And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.”Matthew 23:9
Humility never comes easily. It usually arises out of some uncomfortable circumstance that forced us to be humbled. Places of honor are often easier to take, aren’t they? The Pharisees of Jesus’ day enjoyed their places of honor in the community… much the same way we would! But Jesus denounced them for rejecting Him as Messiah and for elevating themselves above others with their titles. Jesus’ hard words in this passage certainly are not telling us to dishonor our earthly fathers. Rather, He is reminding us that seeking titles of honor fosters pride. And pride seems to be the sin we always either have just committed, are committing now, or are about to commit.
When Jesus took the place of a servant, He was demonstrating the importance of true humility. He wasn’t seeking fame or status. Jesus is our Master and Teacher. He alone—not any spiritual leader or icon—is the head of the Church. When we know Him as Father and Lord, when we give all honor to Him, when we are humbled, then Jesus exalts us as His dear children.
Heavenly Father, please help us in our quest for humility…whatever it takes. Teach us the value of putting others before ourselves.