Wednesday, March 24: Stop judging by mere appearances

Read John 7:14-24


The last days of Jesus' earthly life are filled with significant events and teachings. During these weeks leading up to Easter, we'll travel with Jesus toward Jerusalem and his crucifixion, marveling at his determination to finally fulfill his destiny as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Read John 7:14-24

Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. The Jews there were amazed and asked, "How did this man get such learning without having been taught?"

Jesus answered, "My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?"

"You are demon-possessed," the crowd answered. "Who is trying to kill you?"

Jesus said to them, "I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man's whole body on the Sabbath? Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly."



Even Jesus' most vehement critics, the religious establishment in Jerusalem, were amazed at the power and depth of his teaching, but their minds were closed to the content of his message. Instead they lived by their own legalistic rules and traditions. Here they entirely missed what Jesus said because they couldn't get past the fact that he had healed someone on the Sabbath.


Judging by preconceived notions, superficial appearances, or false assumptions can lead to serious misunderstandings and broken relationships. We can get caught up in what doesn't really matter and miss what's important. However, we can always ask God to give us wisdom to see the whole picture and to understand what's really true.



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