Then Jesus began to warn the crowds & his students about the many dangers of stubborn religion (171).
“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees are the authorized interpreters of Moses’ law, so you must obey what they tell you to do. But don’t imitate what they do, because they don’t practice what they preach.
“They impose heavy loads on the people under them, but they aren’t willing to lift even a finger to help them carry those loads.
“They are obsessed with outward appearances. That’s why they always carry around copies of verses from the inspired scriptures, and that’s why they always wear those long tassels on their cloaks.
“They love to sit in the best places at feasts & to have special reserved seats in the synagogues.
“They love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to have people call them ‘Master.’
“But it’s not right for them to presume to be called ‘Master’ because you are all brothers & you have only one master. And it’s not right for them to presume to be called ‘Father’ because you all have only one father in heaven. Also, it’s not right for any man to presume to be called ‘Teacher’ — because I am your only teacher.
“The greatest among you will not be so preoccupied with being served. The greatest among you will be preoccupied with serving others.
“Anyone who makes himself great in this age will be humbled in the next.
“But anyone who humbles himself in this age will be made great in the next.”
(171) Matthew 23:1-12, Mark 12:38-40, Luke 20:45-47