But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. – Matthew 23.8-10
I have been saved for a while now and been in church for a while now and been associated with preachers for a while now. I have met some of the most humble, meek, quiet, and unassuming men you can ever imagine.
On the other hand I have known men who were just the opposite. I have known men who insisted on being called ‘pastor’ or ‘doctor’ or ‘reverend.’ As I have always gone by ‘Roger’ I once had a slightly older pastor friend actually tell me ‘you were trained better than. Your people need to respect you enough to call you ‘pastor.’
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day like it too. Call me ‘Rabbi’ or call me ‘Master’ or call me ‘Doctor.’ They would have loved that.
I am not going to say much more because it would be sure to get me into trouble.
Suffice it to say this. God is not impressed with manmade titles. We have one Master, one Father, one Teacher. Jesus serves all of those functions.
Of course there is nothing inherently wrong with using terms of respect for our leaders. The problem is when the titles become an issue for the user. Like so much of what Jesus says it is a heart matter, a matter of the spirit of the Law and not the letter. The passage says ‘don’t you be called’ this or that. The idea is not expect or require it. Just be yourself and don’t use those titles to elevate yourself over others.