Shalom in Yeshua,
I've recently been debating with a group of people concerning Mathew chapter 23...
1Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
2"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.
3So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.
4They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
5"Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long;
6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues;
7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.'
8"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers.
9And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.
10Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ.
11The greatest among you will be your servant.
12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (NIV)
. Honestly, I don't see the need to debate this as it's very clear that Yeshua was speaking figuratively here. Their argument is this, we are not to call a Rabbi "Rabbi" or a teacher "Teacher" or a father "Father" or call anyone else who has a title by that title. They believe that this is a literal statement so we can't call our dad "dad" or a Dr. "Dr." etc.
Now, have we really dumbed down this much? Can we not use even the slightest bit of common sense anymore? 'Cause I'm disappointed. We've allowed liberalism to cloud us so much that we can't see even the simplest Scriptural truths anymore. We think everything is grayed and there is no more a black and a white. We think we are so clever now that we should debate everything, right down to the absurd. We think that makes us look intelligent. We could debate a piece of poop till the other gets down and eats it and then still debates that it isn't poop. Sorry it's so graphic but that's what it calls for. If we can't see the simple passages then how on earth are we going to get to the meat of what the Bible offers us? Jesus clearly here is telling us that He is THE Teacher, that He is THE Rabbi, that He is THE Master. Not that we can't call our dad "dad".
Let me tell you what kind of people like to throw this Scripture around. They are egomaniacs. They feel there is no higher authority then themselves so why should they call anyone by a title. Some even have degrees themselves but they despise their own degree because it's not their degree who made them who they are but they themselves who have made them "GREAT". They have no respect for authority and no respect for the G-dly even though they claim they do. They quote Paul when he said that all his education is rubbish and use that to stand on their claim that no one elses education means anything. They call this humility. But it isn't humility my friends, it's false Humility. Real humility is knowing who you are in G-d. It doesn't mean you go around disrespecting ministers. If you're doing that... G-d help you. G-d has put Pastors (Rabbis), Elders etc there for a reason. Sure you have to be careful who you submit yourself to because there are a lot of fakes and phonies out there but you better be quite sure they are a phony before you start to disrespect them. Cause if you're wrong, I doubt you'll get yourself out of that mess. You'll just keep on defending it even when you know in your own heart that you're wrong. How do I know this? Because I just watched it happen to a woman. Even after 7 days of explaining this Scripture she was still in rebellion she'd have none of it. What a shame my friends. This is a very simple scripture to understand. It would be wrong for the Bible to tell us not to call anybody Father if it uses the term repeatedly dozens of times. in both the Old Testament and the New Testament
Here's just a few from Genesis and Mathew... it sure says "father an awfully lot of times for it not supposed to be saying "father"
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.
And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.
Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.
And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.
And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.
Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.
As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth:
Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.
And the first born bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.
And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.
And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.
And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother.
And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram,
And this is just in one book of the Bible... And none of these are being used to talk about G-d as our Father! What about the New Testament?
But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:
And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
I wasn't even sure if I was going to post anything on this because it hardly warrants the time it took to type it but if there is one out there who can't figure this Scripture (Matt.23) out... then I'm glad to help by posting this page. And if that one would like to give me a call... please don't.
Shalom in Yeshua,