Judge Not on Appearances Only

John 7: 21-24.

Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel.

Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the Sabbath day circumcise a man.

If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at Me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

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The Jewish leaders had just accused Jesus of having a demon, and asked Him who He thought was seeking to kill Him. He knew they were false, and He spoke accordingly.

His response cut through all the verbiage, and made them face their own hypocrisy.

I have done one work. . .” Jesus referred to the man He had healed, made whole and complete, on the sabbath day, and what a stir it created in Jerusalem.

Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision”: Circumcision was to be done on the eighth day after the birth of a son, to fulfill the Law of Moses and the forefathers, given by God. This was the case even if the procedure had to be done on the Sabbath, when no work was allowed.

“If a man on the Sabbath day receive circumcision,” If you are allowed to perform a painful procedure on the Sabbath, to fulfill the Law, then why are you so angry at Me for making a man whole and complete on the Sabbath?

“Judge not according to the appearance. . .” There could probably be several sermons delivered on this verse alone. The leaders felt that Jesus appeared to be a sinner; therefore, they appeared to be righteous. They were wrong on both counts. There cannot be a righteous judgment based only on appearance, partly because appearance can change from each person’s perspective. That is why, in a court of law, there must be more than one witness who agree on what they observed. The decision must be made based on righteous, unbiased judgment; not on appearances only.

Jesus told the Jewish leaders to put aside their prejudice (an interesting word that means to judge in advance; in other words, to make up one’s mind before all the facts are considered, to pre-judge) and to judge only on the basis of righteousness.

Jesus’ healing of the man had been done in righteousness. There was no sin, no breaking of the Law.

2 thoughts on “Judge Not on Appearances Only

  1. Excellent. So often we Christians engage in the same behavior. For many years in my early walk, church goers were expected to dress up for services, especially on Sundays. I didn’t have a suit early on but eventually got one. I was then always wearing suits. But we could dress more casual for mid-week services, prayer meeting, etc. Holiness standards were still around. I understood the concept but also saw through it. If you didn’t wear your best when you should people would let you know. If you looked like you were complying with proper dress and so many other things, you passed inspection. The attire may change depending on the meeting but the people are the same. We should all be able to see the abuses of such a system, since believers are often judged merely on appearances.

    Perhaps that is why ministers must dress the way they do and why others dude it up all the more as they climb the ecclesiastical ladder.

    It makes one wonder what the Lord Jesus actually looked like. Scripture indicates He did not appear as the average preacher but more along the lines of some obscure person sitting in the back. The Pharisees, like so many Christians of today, looked great in every way and then some but were dead inside. The Lord proved it’s not what’s on the outside that matters but what’s on the inside. He is filled with the Spirit of God without measure, because He IS God. Better to be an average looking house somewhere down the road where the Lord lives than a mansion where He’s not invited.

    Thank you Linda. Many blessings to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve always believed, and still do, that I should honor the Lord in my appearance at ALL times. For me, it’s a matter of personal conviction and the recognition of the holiness of God. It is when we try to legalize outward appearance that we run into trouble.

      Blessings right back to you, RJ!

      Liked by 1 person

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