Matthew 23:10

ESV Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ.
NIV Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah.
NASB And do not be called leaders; for only One is your Leader, that is, Christ.
CSB You are not to be called instructors either, because you have one Instructor, the Messiah.
NLT And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah.
KJV Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

What does Matthew 23:10 mean?

Jesus is forbidding His disciples from using names of honor and authority in the same manner as the Pharisees and scribes. Those prideful men loved to hear themselves referred to as "rabbi" while being greeted in the marketplace. Their pride and hunger for status drove every choice they made. His disciples were told not to be called "rabbi," because there is only one teacher, meaning Jesus Himself. He has told them to call no man "father" on earth because they have one Father, God Himself, who is in heaven (Matthew 23:1–9).

Beyond that, Jesus adds they should not even be called "instructors," because they have only one instructor, the Christ. Again, Jesus is referring to Himself. As He continues to near His own crucifixion (Matthew 16:21), He becomes more and more vocal in declaring Himself the Messiah. This time, He boldly declares Himself to be "the Christ." The word for "instructor" is different from the word for "rabbi," but both can be understood as teacher.

The point of these commands is that titles should not be used, or demanded, to have status and authority over each other. The point is not that it's forbidden for Christians to use terms like "teacher" or "father" in any circumstance. Instead, they should continue to seek out roles as humble students to the one true rabbi and instructor, Jesus. Even those who are in authority, or those who do teach, should approach those roles as servants, not as celebrities (John 13:12–16; Matthew 23:11).
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: