It’s more than that. Let’s have a look at the passage in question…
Matthew 23:5-10 Amplified
5 They do all their works to be seen of men; for they make wide their phylacteries (small cases enclosing certain Scripture passages, worn during prayer on the left arm and forehead) and make long their fringes [worn by all male Israelites, according to the command].
6 And they take pleasure in and [thus] love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues,
7 And to be greeted with honor in the marketplaces and to have people call them rabbi.
Describing the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus shows that they actually have concern over power. They do things to be seen, not out of genuine devotion. This goes right in line with “vain repetitions”, and our Lord’s recommendation would seem to be that we should not be at all concerned with allowing people to see us in any position of prominence or apparent religious devotion, but instead do so almost secretly, as an act privately between ourselves and God.
The Pharisees were a great example of a religious hierarchy which had come to exist, and over time, drifted away from God’s intent. Jesus decided to clarify this to his followers, explaining how they should interact with one another. Bear in mind that the following verses were directed to the twelve, but I believe probably also have meaning for all believers.
8 But you are not to be called rabbi (teacher), for you have one Teacher and you are all brothers.
9 And do not call anyone on earth father, for you have one Father, Who is in heaven.
10 And you must not be called masters (leaders), for you have one Master (Leader), the Christ.
We see a set of three commands, all of which have the same meaning – to get us to understand that no man is greater than another. We are all servants under Christ. We are all children, brothers, with the one of authority being over us in heaven. We are not masters or leaders – God is our master, our teacher, and our father, the source from whom our revelation and authority must come (to each of us as individuals).
For those who would now quote Matthew 16, I would like to point out that this was spoken after that incident, and Peter was surely among the group to whom Christ spoke.
Any title which is used for the sake of the title is certainly in violation of this.
We do not have the option to think our Father and our Master would forbid those very same titles to men merely by accident or coincidence. He knew what was coming so men are without excuse.
Interesting point – God does indeed plan for the future.