Matt 23:8-10 (TNIV)
8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master 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 ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant.
After explaining to the disciples that the Pharisees teach really well but they don’t practice what they teach, Jesus cuts away the fat.
Jesus in an incredible cultural religious blow tells the disciples to not call anyone Father but God, not to call anyone teacher but Jesus, not to call anyone Rabbi for they are all brothers.
Jesus does here what most Pastors would be scared to do. He removes all the barriers between the people and God. When you take these words to heart and let them cut away at you you find yourself dangerously close to God.
The closeness of God is what this Christian religion has given me. I could really care less about most other aspects of it all. I just want to be close to Him. When religious trends lead towards hierarchy and forced submission Jesus says come to my side, feel my wounds, experience my pain.
I’ m not talking in the rebellious “I don’t submit to anyone” kinda way. I’m talking in the private friend of God kinda way that allows me to submit to everyone.
Lord God, let me into your heart, let me know your ways, I want to be one with you, calling no one Father but you, being taught by you, being in communion with you. Teach me what it means to be so close that words become unnecessary and pains become shared.