Scripture For Today: Matthew 23:1-12

“But be not ye called Rabbi:for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9 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.”
Matthew 23:8-10

Courage is found in the determination to do what is right when everyone around us is doing what seems best. Right and best as measured by the mind of man in the current of life are generally two different things. It is right to be mastered by Christ and the servant of men. It is most often thought best to be the master of men “under Christ”. True disciples of Jesus Christ master none and serve all.

“Do not strive for mastery over men, be mastered by Christ, and then serve Him by serving men, this is the way of Christ”

In The first seven verses of this chapter Jesus describes the works and motives of the Scribes and Pharisees. He does acknowledge their office and that in the execution of their office they are to be given authority, but their work and motive is not to be the pattern of the true disciple of Jesus Christ. All their works were done to be seen of men and then to take the mastery over men. They wanted to bind burdens on men that they themselves would not bear, take the place of importance in every setting, look the part of the righteous while all of this was done from the motive of self promotion and the applause of and authority over men. Simple, bare, ambition fueled by pride and selfishness. They wanted to be called, master by men. “…and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.” Matt 23:7b. Jesus teaches His disciples that they are not to desire to be the master of any man but that they are instead to be mastered by Jesus Christ alone. “for one is your Master, even Christ.” Eliminated here as the legitimate desire and activity of the true disciple is the mastery of self by self, and the desire to hold mastery over other men. True disciples of Jesus Christ have one Master and that is Jesus Christ, not self. We are to be mastered by Christ. As Master Christ gets service and obedience from our life. Once mastered by Christ we are to be the servants of men in true humility. “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” Matthew 23:11. Do not strive for mastery over men, be mastered by Christ, and then serve Him by serving men, This is the way of Christ.

Beware Christian of the spirit of false humility that betrays the truth that you, not Christ are your own master. When you can sit in judgment on others service in comparison with your own, you are the master of your own life and seeking the mastery of those you sit in judgment over. When your mastery is threatened and you can respond with things like, “I don’t care what they think, I am not their servant only Christ’s!”, you have fallen prey to the mastery by self not Christ, and the mastery not service of men. Christian, we only serve Christ as Master when we serve others as He did; for their good and for God’s glory. “for one is your Master, even Christ.”