Sunday Devotional: Whoever exalts himself will be humbled

Matthew 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries* and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

*Phylactery (definition): A small leather box containing Hebrew texts on vellum, worn by Jewish men at morning prayer as a reminder to keep the law.

What a stunning rebuke this passage from Matthew 23 is!

Try this:

In the place of “scribes”, “Pharisees”, “synagogues” and “Rabbi”, insert the words “priests”, “ministers”, “churches” and “pastor/bishop/archbishop/cardinal/pope” — and Matthew 23 is as timely today as then, as a rebuke of hypocritical, uncaring and pretentious church clergy, with their pomp and ceremony and bureaucratic titles.

Matthew 23 is also a rebuke to us, when we exalt ourselves by pretending to possess knowledge of God over others. For we are all the same — brothers and sisters in Christ, who have but “one Father in heaven” and “one master, the Christ.”

May the love and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,


11 responses to “Sunday Devotional: Whoever exalts himself will be humbled

  1. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on kommonsentsjane and commented:

    Reblogged on kommonsentsjane/blogkommonsents.

    Sunday Devotional.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Regarding exalting humans:
    Is this Daniel speaking about “transhumanism”?
    “Daniel 2:43 – And whereas thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall be mingled indeed together with the seed of man, but they shall not stick fast one to another, as iron cannot be mixed with clay.”

    See this video: “Future Investment Initiative” –a robot named “Sophia” is granted Saudi Arabian citizenship. (If you’d like to hear some insights about CERN and possible plans for ‘transhumanism’, I suggest RFB and Nicholson 1968 on U-Tube.)

    P.S. According to some, and I tend to agree, CERN is actually working on opening portals to the spirit world in order to fill empty vessels, and not so much about colliding particles. If you missed the 2016 ceremony of the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland near CERN, I suggest trying to sit through it because it doesn’t look very ‘scientific’ to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I noticed that they “CERN” initially claimed that the long-sought-after Higgs-Boson was the last-& final atomic particle of All Creations and they insultingly called it, “The God Particle.” They have yet to come to their (common) senses.. That name-calling soon stopped however, and now these same Scientists want a much larger-more powerful collider to verify “hints”that the Higgs-Boson is NOT the last & final atomic particle.. = Let’s wait & see.. They may just be after “job protection” at Public Expense..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Shiloh
    By Tim Shey

    Brutal deathdance;
    My eyes weep blood.
    Pharisees smile like vipers,
    They laugh and mock their venom:
    Blind snakes leading
    The deaf and dumb multitude.

    Where are my friends?
    The landscape is dry and desolate.
    They have stretched my shredded body
    On this humiliating tree.

    The hands that healed
    And the feet that brought good news
    They have pierced
    With their fierce hatred.

    The man-made whip
    That opened up my back
    Preaches from a proper pulpit.
    They sit in comfort:
    That vacant-eyed congregation.
    The respected, demon-possessed reverend
    Forks his tongue
    Scratching itchy ears
    While Cain bludgeons
    Abel into silence.

    My flesh in tattered pieces
    Clots red and cold and sticks
    To the rough-hewn timber
    That props up my limp, vertical carcase
    Between heaven and earth.
    My life drips and puddles
    Below my feet,
    As I gaze down dizzily
    On merciless eyes and dagger teeth.

    The chapter-and-versed wolves
    Jeer and taunt me.
    Their sheepwool clothing
    Is stained black with the furious violence
    Of their heart of stone.
    They worship me in lip service,
    But I confess,
    I never knew them
    (Though they are my creation).

    My tongue tastes like ashes:
    It sticks to the roof of my mouth.
    I am so thirsty.
    This famine is too much for me.
    The bulls of Bashan have bled me white.
    Papa, into your hands
    I commend my Spirit.

    February/March 1997
    Iowa State University

    Genesis 49: 10: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Dr Eowyn . . . wonderful lesson for today. I particularly liked the reference to Mathew 23 . . . where we are told we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, since we have but one master, and that is Jesus Christ! That is a very important fact we need to be reminded of from time to time. While I am not Catholic, I dearly love my FOTM family, and I see in each of us, people of righteousness, striving to return to the presence of Our God.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Dr. Eowyn, I especially love the way you remind us to replace the original words with words that are more familiar, and then we see how appropriate the section is for us today. That was perhaps the hardest thing for me to learn how to do when I first started to study the Bible in depth. Later, as I taught adults, in home Bible studies, or in adult Sunday school, etc., I learned more and more just how applicable the scriptures are to us today.

    Many people will say that the Bible is old and outdated, and not for our modern times. We know that is false, and you show just one place where it is totally alive for our time. I have seen the same thing with the Old Testament, people say that it is outdated, and not for our times. Especially with the lists of names found in Numbers, or the law as found in Leviticus. But if one is patient, and takes the time to search out some of the names listed, they can find hidden gems within the once thought to be meaningless list of names. Finding out, for example, how different tribes were connected with different people, or finding out how lineages split at times. The law is also full of so much great nuggets of knowledge, if we are open to the idea of what the law was and why certain things were contained within it. Again, all of these things can be related to modern times, if one simply takes the time to learn how to study the Bible, and how to hunt down things that pertain to the things in question. This is where a good concordance is invaluable. Of course, we also have computers as well, to help.

    Your Sunday Devotionals are one of the high points of my week, and part of what drew me to this website. Thank you for the work you do on them. Always be bold in standing up for Christ, for there will come a time when it becomes very difficult to do so.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Just ask Hillary:

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful devotional, Dr. Eowyn.
    Thank you for the reminder that man is the same today as yesterday….only time has changed….which proves man is sinful and in need of salvation and sanctification.
    “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
    Hebrews 13:8 …proves our Lord as God.
    we are all given the opportunity to seek the Lord, repent, and allow the Holy Spirit into our hearts through baptism.
    Jesus has always been our only hope and redeemer and through humility to the Lord and being ‘born again’, can He show us the way:
    “When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” John 13:12-17
    it’s unfortunate how many people follow themselves or idols instead of believing in the Lord and following His words and examples.
    This is why respect (life, personhood, freedom, property) seems to be absent from many people today….because they exalt themselves.
    I believe with my whole heart, soul, mind, and strength that we will be blessed when we humble ourselves and follow the Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

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