41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?”
“The son of David,” they replied.
43 He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says,
44 “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies
under your feet.” ’ m
45 If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?” 46 No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.
23:1Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries r wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.
8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. 
Jesus has harsh words for the Pharisees, calling them hypocrites. What is the nature of their hypocrisy? He cites two things in particular:
- Not practicing what they preach
- Lack of humility
The first of these is pretty straightforward. As a Christian, if my actions do not match my words, I am clearly a hypocrite. This applies not only to leaders, teachers, and pastors, but to all Christians. When my life does not match my professed faith, I am a hypocrite.
But what about humility? Jesus actually spends more time on this aspect of their hypocrisy. The Pharisees seem to be very concerned about receiving the honor and respect of those around them by the way they dress, and the titles they insist upon. Jesus labels this as exalting oneself. Instead, spiritual leaders are to humble themselves.
Why? Because when a leader, or any Christian for that matter, seeks to be honored for their spirituality and piety, they are seeking to take to themselves honor that only belongs to God Himself. Instead we are to humble ourselves that God may be exalted alone.
Jesus himself demonstrated this completely, humbling himself in obedience and love for the Father, and in His love for us. Our salvation flows from the humility of Jesus. So it clearly follows that the lives of those who call themselves followers of Jesus are also marked with humility.
So this passage challenges us with these questions: Does my life match my confession of faith? Am I conducting myself with humility toward those around me?
Lord Jesus, lead me to follow you with sincerity and humility. Empower my life with Your Holy Spirit so that my life more and more matches my confession of faith. Make me more like you in serving humility before all.
What is the Word leading you to pray about today?
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