By Jennifer Moreno-Flores
As I continue to follow the Lord Jesus Christ daily, I learn more and more about what type of character Jesus wants to produce out of us. He wants us to examine ourselves daily to remove any ashes we may have in our lives. Jesus spoke a lot about misleading appearances and rebuked the Pharisees and Scribes countless times. Imagine what he would say of those in position of authority in the church today!
Brothers and sisters, appearances are deceptive. Someone may look very spiritual outwardly, but that does not always mean they bear GOOD fruit. In the following verse I allude to below, shows Jesus cursing the tree for its misleading appearance, which suggested great productivity without providing it. Jesus used this as a lesson to show how Israel was spiritually hypocritical and fruitless!!
“The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.” (Mark 11:12-14)
This is a prime example of the error we make as followers of Christ; we look at pastors and leaders in the church with the idea that they are perfect and sinless. That isn’t the case, each one of us has a personal walk with Jesus Christ and there are ashes we are ALL getting rid off. As you grow in your relationship with Christ, you learn that it is only Jesus who walked this life sinless and He became sin for us, so that we wouldn’t pay the penalty we EACH deserve. Not one of us is righteous, but it is by the grace of God who justifies us through Jesus that makes us righteous.
Jesus said “But you, do not be called “Rabbi”; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren.”- (Matthew 23:8) Jesus warned the people that they should not imitate the Scribes and the Pharisees, but only to respect their place of authority because it is ordained by God. As followers, we should always remember that we are all brethren and that one should not be exalted above others by positions that we hold in the church.
All of us should be primarily concerned of cleaning both the inside and outside of our hearts. Jesus requires us to do both and not just appear righteous outside. “Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” (Matthew 23:26)
May the Lord continue to bless you and transform you according to His image. And may have grace over one another. In Jesus’ name Amen.