Jesus instructed His followers to not accept the title “Leader.” The underlying Greek word is not common. It refers to someone who leads by guiding or instructing. It could also be translated “teacher” or “guide.”

When Jesus warned the disciples to avoid the title for themselves, He said that He was the only legitimate leader.

Debate continues about whether or not to use the words “leader,” “guide,” or “teacher” for Christian officers.  Did Jesus mean us to apply His words literally or was He warning against giving others equal or greater prominence than Himself? The latter seems the most serious concern.

Leader (or Guide or Teacher), a name of Jesus, pictured in the Greek text of Matthew 23:10.

Leader (or Guide or Teacher) in the Greek text of Matthew 23:10.

Leader in Greek:


Strong’s Concordance number: 2519 (from 2233)

Bible reference: Matt. 23:10

Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. (Matthew 23:10)

The NIV uses the word “Instructor,” while the KJV prefers “Master,” and The Message has “Teacher.”