Beginning Commentary: Jesus admonishes the Disciples on Titles – Matthew 23:7-12

Welcome to the beginning of our commentary on this site. We are glad to administer commentary on a normal basis. I do hope this experience allows you to learn bits of Biblical knowledge each day (hopefully daily most of the time). We appreciate all of the new followers, welcome to the Lord’s Work!

Today we are discussing the admonishing to the Disciples that Jesus gave about using titles in ministry.

Scripture: Matthew 23:7-12

“7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.8 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.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.”

Prophetic data: There does not appear to be prophetic data in reference here.

Archaeological data: There does not appear to be archaeological data in reference here.

Commentary

Jesus is explaining to His Disciples (which translates over to all Disciples after this that carry on the Lord’s Work of ministering the Gospel) that they should not be as the Scribes and the Pharisees who call themselves “Rabbi,” “Teacher,” “Master,” or “Father.” Jesus charged them with not using titles in front of their name, because it gives the false impression that the Disciple is someone of power or authority.

Instead, they are to be a servant to their brethren, yes, on equal ground with their brethren in Christ. Jesus Christ is the True Master of all, and God is the True Father of all, and God is also “Reverend” (Psalm 111:9). Jesus gives the impression that there is no need for more masters, mystics, deified, or exalted beings. God gave the knowledge of Deity to Jesus Christ, and He is Master.

Those exalting themselves (such as with titles, authority, or other misleading traits) would be humbled, and those who are humble (such as servanthood) would be exalted (which would probably amount to doing more work for His Service in the Kingdom).

Spiritual pride can cause incalculable evil in the Church; however, please note that He is not speaking against spiritual leaders (the greater among men that are servants; also called servant leadership in some circles). What Jesus is speaking against is for those that attempt to distinguish themselves from other members of His Body. Jesus sees all of His People equally and does not show preference (see Romans 2:11).

Other notes: Some source notes for Matthew 23:12 show that “ostentation” should be avoided. 23:8 notes “be not ye called” an ingressed aorist subjunctive from the Greek, possibly to regard the potential adoption of titles to be used publicly as an object of pride of the Disciple or assigned to the Disciple — Jesus did not differentiate whether the Disciple assigned the title to themselves or would allow someone else to assign it. 23:9 “father” notes “Abba”, which depicts the harmonic sense of “spiritual father”, which would be stated to not condemn a person’s Earthly father.

Jesus Heals Man’s Withered Hand and Increases Faith (Journey 17)

We cover the next two parts of journey 17 of Jesus Christ, where He journeys from From Jerusalem to Galilee, perhaps Capernaum (85 miles), and then to the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Part 2: Jesus Heals the Man’s Withered Hand

We read in Mark 3:1-6; Matthew 12:9-14; Luke 6:6-11 – which Jesus makes many people marvel over the healing He came to provide.

If an animal fell into a pit on the Sabbath, the Jews would not hesitate to rescue it on the Sabbath; and yet, they accuse Jesus of healing someone on the Sabbath. No rules for the Sabbath have been listed for a person to keep the Sabbath holy; therefore, it is always right to do good things for people on the Sabbath, for it brings honor to God.

Saving life is much better than killing, and therefore, in this case, Jesus was helping to save a man’s life by helping with his withered hand. The Pharisees, however, couldn’t care less about “His Works,” and therefore, looked for ways to kill Him. Jesus left, though, to continue on His Work elsewhere.

This man’s hand that was restored is similar to what we saw in 1 Kings 13:6, where the king’s hand was restored by the “man of God.”

What can we learn from this?

Help those that cannot help themselves, as Jesus did for the man with the withered hand, especially when their circumstances are out of their control (just as the man with the withered hand, and the king with the withered hand). Let those with a hard heart come to Christ as He looks at the root of bitterness and can help remove the trouble for healing to flood in.

Part 3: Jesus Heals Great Multitudes by the Sea of Galilee

We are seeing Jesus at Galilee again doing phenomenal work in healing and increasing people’s faith. We read about this in Mark 3:7-12; Matthew 12:15-21.

Jesus quickly withdraws to work elsewhere, to which, this is further fulfillment of the Prophecy that Jesus would take the Gospel to all people. He never tried to be great, as He never hurt those who sorrowed, neither did He turn away those who had weak faith (even the weakest faith He didn’t turn away).

=> He knew it would increase what weak faith people had if He did things that would only increase it! He continued to heal people of so many infirmities and unclean spirits.

What can we learn from this?

Christ received people so often, and we need to receive people similarly by laying aside anger and debating, so that they may be encouraged and receive gracious kindness. If we are unable to show people encouragement or gracious kindness, we should ask for it from the Lord so that we may take after His Example.

What can we look forward to in Journey 18?

The Twelve Disciples are chosen. Don’t miss it!