The Daily Fountain Daily Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 30 December 2019 – Do Not Judge By Human Appearance

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TOPIC: Do Not Judge By Human Appearance

READ: JOHN 7:1-36 (NKJV)

  1. After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him.
  2. Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand.
  3. His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing.
  4. “For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.”
  5. For even His brothers did not believe in Him.
  6. Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.
  7. “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.
  8. “You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.”
  9. When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.
  10. But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
  11. Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, “Where is He?”
  12. And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, “He is good”; others said, “No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.”
  13. However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.
  14. Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught.
  15. And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?”
  16. Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.
  17. “If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or [whether] I speak on My own [authority.]
  18. “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.
  19. “Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?”
  20. The people answered and said, “You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?”
  21. Jesus answered and said to them, “I did one work, and you all marvel.
  22. “Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath.
  23. “If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?
  24. “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
  25. Now some of them from Jerusalem said, “Is this not He whom they seek to kill?
  26. “But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ?
  27. “However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from.”
  28. Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, “You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.
  29. “But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.”
  30. Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.
  31. And many of the people believed in Him, and said, “When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this [Man] has done?”
  32. The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him.
  33. Then Jesus said to them, “I shall be with you a little while longer, and [then] I go to Him who sent Me.
  34. “You will seek Me and not find [Me,] and where I am you cannot come.”
  35. Then the Jews said among themselves, “Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?
  36. “What is this thing that He said, ‘You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come’?”

THE MESSAGE:

Our passage focuses on Jesus’ encounter with His brothers and the Jews during the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. His brothers challenged Him to go to Jerusalem for the feast. Their message was, in essence, You must not miss this great opportunity to showcase yourself. There will be huge crowds there to see your miracles. Sadly, their real motive was to expose Him to the scrutiny of the renowned Jewish scholars. The Bible recorded that even His own brothers did not believe in Him (verse 5).

Jesus eventually showed up at the Feast when His time had fully come (verses 8-10) and immediately began to teach at the Feast. It was in the course of His teaching that He told the Jews, Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgement (verse 24). This is because the Jews appear righteous in all ramifications, but yet are not righteous. Moses gave them the Law, yet none of them kept the Law (verse 19). If they were righteous as they claimed, they wouldn’t have sought to kill Jesus (verse 30).

It is said that not all that glitters is gold, that is why the LORD looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). In a world full of deception – including those deceiving with the name of the Lord, we need to be careful not to judge by appearances, as Jesus warned. Let us not be in a haste to trust even those who praise us; their motives could be different. Jesus’ approach to issues of life and ministry should be a guide for us to follow.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, You alone know the heart and search the mind; help me not to be deceived by praise-singers but to always be wholly committed to You all the days of my life. Amen.