Reading: Matthew 23: 8-10
Summary: You have only one Master… one Father… one Teacher… The greatest among you will be your servant.
We often come to church or a time of prayer or a time of Bible reading when we are seeking comfort or care or relief from some burden. After tragedies and large losses we often see a spike in church attendance, interest in faith… IT is natural to seek these things from God. Yes, at times this is just what we find at church, in prayer, in the Word. But often we also find what the Pharisees found in today’s passage. They want to be recognized and looked up to and respected, but what Jesus offers is a dose of reality as He knocks them down a few pegs. He draws a sharp contrast between how they are teaching and leading and how God wants them to teach and lead.
Today many will come to church. Almost all will be seeking to be filled up, to be encouraged, to feel their burdens lifted. It is my prayer that if this is what they need today that this is precisely what Jesus brings them. I hope people experience a compassionate and loving Lord. But sometimes Jesus has other plans. Sometimes we open the Word seeking discernment and Jesus only causes us to think deeper and to wrestle more with whatever is troubling us. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed and we go to our knees seeking relief and Jesus only adds to our “to do” list, placing someone or something with a need on our heart. Sometimes we walk into church looking to recharge our batteries and we walk out, convicted by the Holy Spirit to go and serve or to be the one to take the first step of reconciliation. Sometimes Jesus asks more.
Jesus reminds us today that we have only “one Master… one Father… one Teacher”. We are not the ones in control, not the ones with the answers. Today we may come looking for something from God. May we find what we seek. But let us not be closed off to what else Jesus has for us today. Jesus may offer more today – a word of challenge or conviction or discernment. May we be responsive and open and willing. May we seek to be the humble servant today.