Exalt or humble?

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From Matthew 23:

 8But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

I had a thought while reading the passage above. Any denomination that calls its priest or pastor “father” would be in trouble by the passage.

Then I thought, that this is probably an example of pulling a passage out of context to make whatever case you want.

The passage is warning about people who like to exalt themselves: such as the Pharisees and the Sadducees. It is warning us not to treat them special. Not to treat anyone as special before God.

Which doesn’t mean we aren’t to honor our parents. There are natural places of deference, but we need to avoid honoring those seeking to be exalted above others.

It teaches that to lead is to serve. Which is a good way to evaluate political candidates, for that matter. Which ones seem to be in it for themselves, and which ones to serve. Do some of them like their own sound bites too much?

No matter how much I might like some of his ideas — and I’m not saying I like or dislike any of them — the words of Donald Trump, for example, don’t give me the idea of a servant, but of an autocrat. And yet many people are willing to give him the honor he craves.

Do not give power to one who craves it. Give power to the one who would avoid it, even if he knows he should take it, for the good of others.

 

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