Cross in front of Founders Hall



One Teacher

Lent 2021

Read Matthew 23:1-22

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. 5 They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, 6 and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues 7 and greetings in the marketplaces and being 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 call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. 13 But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. 15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. 16 Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? 18 And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ 19 You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it. 22 And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.

“You have one teacher.” We live in a world filled with many experts on any topic and any issue. But for Christians there is only one authoritative teacher—Christ. In a time where everyone has an opinion and every opinion is viewed as having personal validity and therefore “truth”, Christians recognize only one authoritative teacher—Christ. In a world where we are bombarded with a confluence of voices and messages, for Christians there is only one authoritative teacher—Christ. As disciples of Jesus it can be difficult and exhausting to wade through it all in order to cling only to the authoritative teaching of Christ. We are not alone in this struggle. This has been the difficulty for all of Jesus’ disciples. This is exactly why some of those earliest disciples wrote things like, Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope…not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another all the more. (Hebrews 10:23-25) Christ encourages us to be gathered to hear His word so that through the preaching of pastors, the examination of Scripture, and conversations with brothers and sisters in Christ He would be able to teach, instruct, and encourage us in faith.


Christ, be my teacher in age as in youth, drifting or doubting, for You are the truth. Grant me to trust You; though shifting as sand, doubt cannot daunt me; for in You I stand. Amen.

Prayer adapted from the words of Timothy Dudley-Smith.

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