“A student is not above his teacher ..." (Matthew 10:24-25)

“A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beezlebub, how much more the members of his household?" (Matthew 10:24-25)

Why is Jesus referring to a teacher and student and master and servant?

Here Jesus discusses something about the relationship between student and teacher along with a servant and their master. What is the purpose of this?

This statement comes as Jesus is warning his students about the possibility of them becoming persecuted. Just after this statement, he says:
"So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known." (Matthew 10:26)
Jesus is telling his students that if they follow him, they will not be sorry in the end. Should they teach the truth to others as he has taught them, they may be persecuted as Jesus was.

Jesus' focus was not on his own comfort. If it was, he would have avoided the arrest of the High Priest Caiaphus' guards. He would have escaped into the wilderness to avoid capture. Why didn't he?

Because he wanted to please God more than he wanted to remain comfortable. This is also what Jesus was encouraging his own students to do. To be "like" him.

Why does Jesus compare the 'head of the household'?

Jesus is speaking of three metaphorical relationships here:
  • teacher and student
  • master and servant
  • head of household and members of the household
The linking element here is following the teacher, master or head of household. But Jesus is not only referring to following them. He is also referring to their taking their example: being like them.

Again, this is because Jesus wants them to become like Jesus, in his dedication to God.

He says that if the head of the household has been called Beezlebub, then "how much more the members of his household?"

This refers directly to Jesus and his followers. He is saying that if they are condemning Jesus, certainly they will also condemn Jesus' followers. It is not that they will see Jesus one way and Jesus' followers another way.

In other words, the authorities - the Romans and the Temple officials - will be seeing Jesus' followers just as they see Jesus.

And since they will be persecuting Jesus, Jesus wants them to be prepared to also be persecuted.

What does 'Beezlebub' mean?

Aside from the purport of Jesus' statement, what does Beezlebub mean?

This was the term used to describe someone who opposes or rejects the Supreme Being. Many scholars point to the worship of the idol Ba’al in the Old Testament as the source of this connotation.

The term refers to someone who rejects the worship of the Supreme Being by worshiping idols. Some further define this connotation as describing ‘lucifer’ or ‘satan.’

In this context, these two names are often referred to as fallen angels who now serve to tempt and tease those in the physical world.

While this is certainly an acceptable connotation, we must also realize that those of us here in this physical world away from the Supreme Being is here because of our own choosing. There is no one else to blame outside ourselves.

This means we are each fallen angels.

Note that Jesus says they might call the head of a household 'Beezlebub'. This would be a great dishonor to the household of course.

But Jesus' inference also indicates that the head of the household could be called Beezlebub. Since they could call this person Beezlebub, this indicates that Jesus felt that a person could be such a character. 

This indicates that we cannot blame Satan or the devil or Beezlebub for our predicament. Being here, away from God is our responsibility. It is based upon our previous and current decisions to turn away from the Supreme Being.

Yes, we each rejected the Supreme Being and fell into this physical world. This is the analogy of Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden.

This does not mean that we cannot return to God, however. Each of us has the choice to change direction - at every moment. With every tick of the clock brings a new opportunity for each of us to choose between the Supreme Being and our self-centered desires. The choice is always ours.