25 “Woe to you, [self-righteous] scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and robbery and self-indulgence (unrestrained greed). 26 You [spiritually] blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the plate [examine and change your inner self to conform to God’s precepts], so that the outside [your public life and deeds] may be clean also.
Have you ever gone to a restaurant and ordered some food because the picture on the menu looked so good and yummy but then when the waiter presented you with the food it looked like something totally different? How does that make you feel? I am sure you feel cheated and taken advantage of.
Authenticity is a major challenge with this generation. What you see is hardly what you get. Statistics tell us that over 80% of Kenyans profess to be Christians yet our corruption index is one of the highest around the world. What an oxymoron.
Jesus was upset with the religious leaders of the day because they were not authentic. They were hypocrites. They presented themselves to the people in one way while in reality, they were something totally different. They were big on titles positions and rituals and yet on the inside as Jesus says, they were full of dead men’s bones.
This was the same case with the fig tree that Jesus cursed. It had leaves and when a fig tree has leaves then it has fruit but behold when Jesus walked up to it, it had no fruit. It was not authentic.
Are you like that fig tree, presenting yourself as one thing yet your lifestyle portrays a totally different thing? No wonder Jesus would tell us that you shall know them by their fruit. Not what they say or what they have, what is the fruit of their character because if they are from God they will display the fruit of the Spirit.
God is looking for people who will represent him authentically. May we be found to be authentic.
In what area of your life are you struggling to be authentic?
What are you willing to do to ensure that you stay true to what you proclaim to believe?
Who is one authentic person you know and what can you learn from them?