With Jesus, we now have the power to flip our situations. So, flip it. You should live a life worth living so don’t conform to a mediocre life.
That’s right, we are starting a new series that is called “Flip the Flow” where we are going to have a 180-degree change in some situations of our life.
Most people when starting a new year make some promises with the expectation of change but we all know that those don’t work. The reason is that they try to fix things at the surface level.
In natural medicine, we see that very often. People like fast fixes and that’s how pills were born. To fix the problem at the surface but ignoring the underlying roots of the disease.
On a spiritual level happens the same thing. Hence, we need to ask God about the root that most of us don’t see.
Jesus knew the underlying motives of everyone’s heart and that’s why we are going to start by reading about his conversation with the Pharisees.
That which defiles
Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.” “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”Matthew 15:10-20 NIV
In this story, you find a group of Pharisees that were offended because they have caught up Jesus’s disciples eating their food without washing their hands first.
For the Pharisees, it meant something more than just hygiene. It was part of their tradition.
Although, let me tell you something about natural medicine since we are on the topic.
Most preachers believe that this is just spiritual teaching but it’s also about medicine. It talks about a real problem related to the hygiene hypothesis. Where the irrational fear against bacteria is making more harm than good.
A lot of people still ignore the importance of bacteria and usually blame them for their diseases as a way of not taking responsibility for their health.
Several microbiologists as [Giulia Enders] explains that the good bacteria work for us meanwhile the bad bacteria makes us stronger.
So, please. Don’t blame the damn bacteria. Bacteria existed way before us and will exist even after us.
Getting back to Jesus’s answer, it’s something that He did frequently. That’s why the Pharisees searched for him. Let’s see that.
Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?Matthew 15:1-3 NIV
As you can read, the Pharisees came from Jerusalem. They were hunting Jesus and Jesus, as living wisdom, answered.
The answer of Jesus is very challenging. It confronts the belief system of the Pharisees and anyone present.
In other words, Jesus answered with another question “Do you know what is more important? The tradition of men or the truth of God?”.
As a religious person that’s an insult because it’s like saying that you’re not doing your job right, especially when that’s your only job (or the most important).
I call them religious people because they try to reach God by their actions but Jesus is saying that they are failing even though that’s their only purpose in life. (ouch)
Jesus was trying to flip their priorities because the Pharisees valued more the tradition than they valued God’s truth.
Actually, we all rearrange our priorities in the wrong order because in this way we are not confronted to change in our lives. In other words, we are lazy.
Some people work more hours just to avoid family problems. In that case, they prioritize their work over their families because they don’t want to confront the realities in their home.
We tend to do the same thing with different areas or aspects of our life.
Now Jesus wants us to flip the situation. So, flip it.
Unquestioned belief system
An unquestioned belief system is a dangerous thing because is most likely that you are making poor decisions based on that belief.
The awful part is that we don’t even notice the difference between our tradition and God’s word. We tend to give more attention to our tradition.
That’s how religion can do more harm than Good. Actually, the Pharisees are an excellent example of religious people.
What we have to do is to stop the current process which is that we get our truth from tradition when our tradition should come from truth.
Of course, I’m talking about the truth of God because the truth of humanity is just a poor imitation of the truth of God.
In verse 3, Jesus is also saying that we are using God as a cover for our dysfunctional behavior.
Remember that I was saying how lazy we can be? That instead of making changes in our lives, we make up rules, tradition, and covers. In other words, we lie to ourselves and to everyone.
Jesus has the power to say all these not only because He talks about the truth but because He embodies the truth. He’s the way, the truth, and the life.
Source and Outcome
Through Matthew 15, Jesus is talking about a very important idea that is “what comes from one place comes out from another one”.
Yes, that’s right. That’s the idea behind our body’s digestive process. But it is also an idea that applies to many other things.
For example, let’s talk about anger. When we are angry we tend to shout to other people but those people are no the source of our anger. So, the source of our bad temper is not where we express our bad temper.
Sometimes it’s like we get angry out of nowhere. That’s when we should ask ourselves “where is this coming from?”
It’s important to know the source to give a proper solution. Otherwise, we will give a superficial solution which is something very common and that’s the reason why people keep struggling with the same problems.
On the example of anger, it’s usually not an anger problem but a fear problem. Rather than being vulnerable by our fears, we choose to act with anger as a protective mechanism.
We may think that the problem is solved by controlling our temper but actually it’s solved by trusting God.
Knowing this you should always remember that the way people treat you is not a reflection of how they feel about you but a reflection of how they feel about themselves.
By remembering this you would not allow that rejection take root in your heart.
Jesus knew that the Pharisees were not fighting with Him, they were fighting with themselves. Jesus goal was to flip this destroying way of thinking.
How we metabolize our thoughts?
Jesus talks about how we metabolize our food but also give an analogy to start wondering how we metabolize our thoughts.
A lot of people start counting calories when they should be you counting their bad thoughts.
From a Natural Medicine point of view, is completely stupid to count calories when it’s the less useful way of eating healthy. There is a lot of healthy food rich in calories that can even promote weight loss like nuts.
It’s not healthy to focus on calories when you ignore the source.
If you like to count things, count your bad thoughts because those really can corrupt your heart.
Remember that we are not a body, we’re a spirit that has a soul and lives in a body. And our spirit also has a digestive process as our body does.
Wash your heart
We all know how to wash our hands but we don’t know how to wash our heart.
People tend to think that Jesus came to require righteousness but that’s not true. Jesus came to enable righteousness.
So don’t think that Jesus is demanding you anything, He’s just making it all possible for you.
Since we know that our help comes from the Lord, we can predict in advance that we will come out victorious.
I know that I haven’t answer how can we clean our heart but it all adds up to understand better the role of God in our lives.
It’s hard to sort things in our heart. To know what thoughts come from God and what thoughts come from our ego, our family, our tradition, the news, gossip, and so on.
The good news is that Jesus left us the Holy Spirit to help us sort the source of our thoughts.
The Holy Spirit will provide the wisdom to make the required changes but you need to be willing to make them. Otherwise, you will end fixing just the surface. Again.
Also, remember that you are the righteousness of God not because of what you can do but because of Jesus.
It’s time for you to evaluate your traditions and set apart the lies from the truth of God.
Usually, when the unclean touch the clean, it makes the clean, unclean. But Jesus flips it. Now when Jesus touches us, He makes us clean as He is.
The problem of fixing things at the surface (trying to be clean), besides that it doesn’t change the root problem, is that it requires a lot of our strength to sustain it. That’s exhausting. Eventually, you will feel tired of living that way.
This is the beauty of the gospel. All those who are tired of their way of living need to hear this: “Everything that needed to be done for me to be right with God is already done”.
You don’t need to do anything, but at the same time, now you can do what was impossible before.
For example, now you can talk to God directly. Actually, let’s do that.
Father, I know that Jesus made all the work to restore my relationship with you and now I want to clean my heart by sorting my thoughts with the help of the Holy Spirit. Give me the strength to keep making changes in my life and to always keep your truth over any other thing. Thank you for what you have done and for what is coming. In Jesus name, Amen.
I will continue this new series of teachings so you better sign up to our newsletter to receive the new ones. Besides, I will be making a book that I will send for free to everyone in the newsletter. You just have to add your email [here].
Finally, don’t forget to stay healthy and to subscribe.
See you in the next post.