Todays readings are 1 Kings 9 and John 7:1-24.
“Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgement”. (John 7:24).
Today, one verse is worthy of some reflection.
Jesus opponents had been judging by mere appearances. Jesus makes the point that they should stop judging and work much harder at making a right assessment. One can refer back to the OT and see many similar parallels in Dt 16:18-19 and Is 11:3-4. Both these passages deal with the administration of public justice.
However, here Jesus appeal is far more personal. Yes, before you jump to conclusion I am very aware of Matthew 7:1 (Do not judge, or you to will be judged). This verse forbids judgmentalism but not moral discernment.
In John 7:24 what Jesus s looking for is more moral, ethical and theological discernment. This is not about heresy witch hunting as one writer said. Nor is it about self righteousness either.
If those who were being quick to judge, used the approach of faith, they would be able to quickly discern that Jesus is not a Sabbath breaker, but the one who fulfils both Sabbath and circumcision requirements.
In today’s world, the man or woman on the street has probably become more aware of the call not to judge even more than the great John 3:16 passage. The challenge is, that if we try and be discerning in today’s world, most people are very quick to say stop judging others.
However, we are called to be discerning. Yes and not being quick to judge the actions or motives of others. We are called to make a right judgment abut issues that are presented to us on a daily basis. Look beyond that which we see and think a bit harder on the issues that we do face.
May it be that we seek to grow in wisdom as endeavor to make right judgments.