Matthew 23:1-12

Jesus talks about dangerous teachers

1 After that, Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples. 2 He said, ‘The teachers of God's Law and the Pharisees have authority to explain the Law of Moses. 3 So you must obey everything that they teach you. But you should not do the same things that they do. They tell you what the Law of Moses teaches. But then they themselves do not obey it. 4 The rules that they give you are difficult to obey. Their rules are like heavy luggage, which they make you carry. But they themselves will not help you to carry that luggage. They will not agree to use even one finger to help you.

23:4The teachers of God's Law and the Pharisees taught extra rules to the Laws of Moses. This made it more difficult for people to obey all the Laws.

5 The Pharisees do things only so that people will see them. They wear little boxes with words from the Bible in them, but they make them really big. They also make the tassels on their clothes very long. 6 They like to sit in the important places at special meals. They also choose to sit in the best seats in the meeting places. 7 They like people to praise them in the market place. They want people to call them “Teacher.”

23:5These little boxes were called phylacteries. A Jewish man would tie one to his head or to his arm. There was some paper with words from the Bible in the box. They wore the phylacteries and the tassels for other people to see. They wanted people to think that they really loved God.

8 You all belong to God's family. You have only one Teacher. So nobody should call another person, “Teacher”. 9 Also, do not call any other person in the world, “Father”. You have only one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 And do not call each other “Leader”. You have only one Leader. He is the Messiah that God has chosen. 11 The person among you who is most important will be your servant. 12 Some people lift themselves up to be important. But God will bring them down low. Other people are humble. God will lift up those people to a good place.’

23:8Jesus is our master and our teacher.
23:9Jesus was saying that God is their Father.