Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples about the scribes and the Pharisees. In first century Judaism, these had sat themselves in the place of honor. God had called Moses but He did not call the scribes or the Pharisees. The scribes and the Pharisees not only taught what the Scripture said but added to the Word of God. They made laws so heavy and so burdensome that it was impossible for they people to carry them. Everything that the scribes and the Pharisees did was to be noticed by men. It was for their own honor that they did the things that they did.
Recently I attended a banquet in the community that I live in and there were those who had the place of honor at the banquet. I do not know the hearts of these men to know if they loved the place of honor, or if they are truly humble of heart. It is the seeking of honor among men that Jesus speaks against the scribes and the Pharisees.
Jesus teaches the crowds but more so His disciples; do not be called teacher, for One is your Teacher, but to think of each other as brothers. It is the Holy Spirit who is our teacher. Do not call any one father; for One is your Father, it is God who is our Father, we are to think of each other as brothers. Do not be called leaders for One is your Leader, that is, Christ, and we are His subjects.
We are to think of each other as equals. Some in the church have studied more than others and have knowledge that other does not have. Some have God given abilities that others do not have. However, why are you teaching? Is it to be honored among men that you are teaching? Why be called father? Is it because you want a place of honor in the church? Why be called leader, or the term that is used in my local church, elder, is it because you want a place of honor that you are called leader?
Jesus said that the greatest among us is the one who serves and whoever exalts himself shall be humbled. The one who humbles himself as a servant shall be the one whom Christ exalts.