How are you introduced? Are you Mr. or Mrs. “so-and-so”? Perhaps Dr. or Pastor “so-and-so.” What are these titles about? Positions, achievements, certifications, some sort of ranking placed by the world system.
“And you shall call him Jesus” (Matt. 1:21). A simple name, Jesus. He was foretold to be the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace. Many called Him Teacher, Master, or Rabbi. Peter declared He was the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matt. 16:16). Yet He never called Himself any of these things, even when He was challenged by the High Court and by Pilate. He simply declared that He was a son and He only did what He saw His Father do.
Needing a Title
Many of us may have degrees — BSs, AAs, MBAs — or have specialized training or certificates — CPA, RPN –– but does it really matter in God’s Kingdom? Now don’t get me wrong, I totally believe in higher education and training. Sometimes this allows us to be in a field where our lives can touch certain groups with the Gospel and we can have inroads and open doors where others may not be able to go. But the question I’d like to pose to you today is this: can you be without a title or do you need one?
We see in the scriptures where the Pharisees loved to be recognized because of their title (Matt. 23). They wanted others to see and acknowledge their authority and position. Yet we never see Jesus with this attitude. Jesus had a following because He didn’t need a following. (You might want to go back and read that sentence again a few times and let it sink in.) He didn’t have a need to proclaim Himself as “Bishop” so-and-so, or “Reverend” so-and-so. He merely led others to His Father.
Now who your father is and your lineage is important, especially in many cultures, including the Jewish one. Countless places in the scriptures it’s mentioned how someone is “the son of _____, the son of _____.” Our family history is valuable and has meaning, however, we aren’t to rest on the laurels of our ancestors. Some of the Pharisees wanted to be justified because they were the sons of Abraham (Matt. 3:9), but Jesus didn’t deem that as the means to a relationship with God.
Who we are — our identity in Christ — is what defines us, not our titles. We are children of God, His sons and daughters. Nothing else is necessary. Jesus didn’t need anything. If no one recognizes any of the initials following our name, or forgets to include the preface before our name, that’s okay. It’s really not that important. (You may be tested on this!)
I hope I haven’t stepped on anyone’s toes on this post. Titles are necessary in organizations and company hierarchies and it’s good to note someone as single or married with a Miss versus a Mrs. In other words, they are good as long as you don’t have to have one. The question is: Are you okay without one?