November 13, 2018
John 7:24…Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.
These are the words of Jesus who also taught us:
Matthew 7:1… Judge not! That you be not judged.
Which is it? Do we judge or not? In today’s verse He adds clarity. “Do not judge by appearances.” “Judging according to appearances” is the default of humans. We abide by the rule… “Seeing is believing.” Of Jesus , Thomas said, when he was not with the other disciple when Jesus appeared to them, “Unless I see in His hands the marks of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails and put my hand into His side, I will never believe.” Seeing, and in Thomas’s case, touching, are needed proofs of words of truth. Had Jesus risen from the grave? Yes, He had. We know that in hindsight, but do we believe it, or do we require additional proof?
Jesus’ warning is “Do not judge by appearances.” If you do, you will be so judged. On any given day, I would not want to be judged by appearances. I do not always make righteous decisions. I want to, and if anyone is listening I will talk like I do but I know that I don’t and if you doubt me just ask my wife. God told me one time, “The Truth does not require proof.” It is the truth regardless of what we think. Can you prove salvation? But, do you believe in it anyway?
Jesus also said, “Take up your cross and follow me.” Do you believe that matters? Do you need proof? Sometimes, when we struggle to obey, we demand further proof. I have some friends who are going to a foreign country to minister the gospel. They are certain they have heard the call of God. I have not heard that call. I hear, “Brighton the corner where you are.” Each one of us must know the call of God; we must not compare it to someone else’s call. And we don’t need anyone else to believe us; we need God, only, to confirm His word to us. People will judge you wrongly. They will judge by appearances. That is the human way. And I have known some people who have required proof. God is not silenced by that. And we should not judge it. Check your own heart… Do you judge by appearances? Or do you judge righteously? To judge righteously is to judge by God’s word. Often appearances do not support God’s word.