The city of Kyoto in Japan is home to some of the last remaining schools of the Geisha. Admired and misunderstood by many, the Geisha is a rigorous and demanding career path that women undertake to become professional hostesses. Unlike some popular portrayals, true Geisha are not prostitutes. They are schooled in the art of conversation, musical instruments, song, and dance. Geishas in Kyoto prefer to be called Geiko to distinguish themselves from the Geishas in other parts of Japan and women who masquerade as Geishas.
Many tourists in Kyoto will line up for hours along theaters where Geikos perform to catch a glimpse or photo of them as they exit the theater. Unfortunately Geiko sightings are increasingly uncommon, becoming a media circus, akin to paparazzi converging upon a celebrity. Although it may seem obvious to locals, not every woman that wears a kimono is a Geiko. Thus, many women in Kyoto who are adorned in a kimono are often indiscriminately swept up in the tourist’s rush, mistakenly photographed as a Geiko. And some of these kimono-clad women will gladly allow the tourists to believe they are Geikos. Many tourists proudly display their photographs or ask to be photographed with these women, thinking they have secured a coveted photo of a true Geiko, only to be disappointed when the truth is revealed.
Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.”
Appearances can certainly be deceiving. These Jewish exorcists thought that all they had to do was invoke the name of Jesus and evil spirits would be exorcised. Instead, the demons turned upon them because they knew the truth.
And the evil spirit answered and said, “ Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
Opportunists and charlatans are everywhere. Unfortunately, they have also infiltrated the Christian Church. There are preachers and leaders who claim to be Christians but deny the deity of Jesus Christ. But some have a far more subtle deception occurs and there is a denial of only selected portions of Scripture or acceptance of other religions or gods as truth.
Like the casual kimono wearing woman who is mistaken for a Geiko, it may be difficult to discern the true Christian from the pretender. Ultimately only God knows the true spiritual state of any of us. But a true Christian will exhibit fruits of their conversion. And this is how one can know for sure. It is not the outward appearance but the inward change of the heart.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.