I had the occasion to write out “Jesse Jackson” just a little bit ago, when I was writing, I was compelled to use his title “the Reverend.” It’s how we usually hear his name in the media.
I also was watching a clip, just yesterday… how did I get there? Oh yeah, a tweet from someone I follow sent me to an “Elephant Room” clip. It was interesting, but what caught my attention was, that of the 7 Pastors in the conversation, only T.D. Jakes was referred to as “Bishop.” I recall being introduced to a catholic priest when I was a younger man. And I remember giving pause every time I had to say his name. Should I call him “father?” That is, after all, how he was introduced. All I could think of was Jesus saying: “don’t call anyone your father.” –Matt 23:9
In the context of matthew 23, Jesus is excoriating the Pharisees because they loved the place of honor and the respectful greetings. (Have you ever had that awkward conversation with someone where they insist that you call them by some funky nick-name?) Yeah, it feels like that!
Over the years I have been called Pastor, Reverend, and even messiah by someone completely ignorant of christianity. I don’t mind being called Pastor, because I believe it’s what God has called me to be, but when the title is thought of as somehow exhalted, or important… I reject that.
David Guzik comments on these verses: ” It is also seen in the expected etiquette for closing a letter to the Pope: “Prostrate at the feet of Your Holiness and imploring the favor of its apostolic benediction, I have the honor to be, Very Holy Father, with the deepest veneration of Your Holiness, the most humble and obedient servant and son/daughter.”
-Yeah,… it goes a little far don’t ya think?
I’m a servant leader, and that, only by the grace of God.
I am certainly not reverend.
“Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. –Matt. 23:12