Day Fourteen, Second Tuesday of Lent
Becoming exalted on the path of the Spirit.Matthew 23: 1-12
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “ The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students.And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father— the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah.The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.
Jesus is clear that vanity and egotistical display doesn’t cut it. Jesus tells people not to be impressed with pomp and circumstance, social pretense and posturing, and displays of social status to dominate and coerce.
Jesus tells people to get off of the path of the ego and embark on the path of the Spirit. The Tao Te Ching teaches the same thing saying that people who strut and intimidate, and even charm and are loved, are not as good leaders as people who facilitate and nurture so that people come to be aware of their own power and abilities.
Jesus is telling people that it is love of the Divine Spirit which empowers people not the social characteristics of ego. More directly, Jesus is suggesting that people shed the ego and embrace the Spirit and if they do this they will be exalted as they become One with All.