How is it that so many spiritual leaders in the Messianic community who believe in Messiah Yeshua would take upon themselves,or accept it being given to them,the title of Rabbi,when Yeshua Himself,the Messiah of God to Israel and the Jewish people first of all,says not to? (The same question can be asked of those in the Roman Catholic community who go by the name Father.)
Mt 23:8-12 “But you,do not be called ‘Rabbi’;for One is your Master Teacher,the Messiah/Christ,and you are all brethren. . . .”
Instead,the Jewish Messiah,speaking to and teaching His Jewish Israeli apostles and disciples,says to Peter (who perhaps could be called the first Pastor) three times:“Feed My lambs.”;“Tend My sheep.”;“Feed My sheep.”(Jn 21:15-17) This was after Jesus had already warned and prepared Peter for his denial of Him,when He said to Peter,“Simon,Simon! Indeed,Satan has asked for you,that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you,that your faith should not fail;and when you have returned to Me,strengthen your brethren.”(Lk 22:31-32)
A pastor is a shepherd. Yeshua is the Good and Great Shepherd of the sheep. In Ezek 34,YHVH rebukes the false shepherds,and promises Himself to be the Shepherd who seeks and finds the lost sheep of the House of Israel to care for them,to tend them,to feed them,to strengthen them —exactly what Yeshua commissioned Peter to do,and Paul and Peter the elders of the church. (Acts 20:27-31a;1Pt 5:1-4)
When we think of a ‘pastoral scene’,we picture an open field,with rolling grassy hillsides,a watering hole,and sheep and goats grazing freely and safely. It is pastoral because it is the ideal of a shepherd’sbeautiful landscape. The Hebrew word for shepherd is the same as that used for a congregational overseer of the flock:ro’eh. He looks after them,as a brother is his brother’s keeper;as a father lovingly cares for His children.
Pastor is a good Jewish word;it is Hebraic;it is Biblical;it is Messianic;it is from God.
“Who then is a faithful and wise servant,whom his Master made ruler over His household,to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his Master,when He comes,will find so doing. Assuredly,I say to you that He will make him ruler over all His goods.”(Mt 24:45-47)