Thursday, October 20, 2016

Judge With Right Judgment (John 7:14-24)

At the Feast of Booths/Tabernacles in Jerusalem in the middle of the celebration Jesus goes up into to the temple and starts to teach the people. Earlier in the chapter he told his brothers that he was going to stay in Galilee away from the crowds because his time had not yet come. He seems to change his mind later and decides to go anyway. He knows that many people want to kill him, but he goes up into the temple and teaches anyway. He will not remain silent. The people are all amazed at his teaching even though he has not formally studied with their leaders and teachers. Then he really starts teaching. He tells them that his teaching is not his own, but it comes from the Father. All who truly believe should be able to understand this. I do not seek my own glory but the glory of God. Moses gave you the Law, but none of you keep the Law.  Why do you seek to kill me? At this, they think he is out of his mind crazy and/or possessed by a demon. Who is trying to kill you? He says they want him dead because he healed a man on the Sabbath. But, they circumcise on the Sabbath to uphold the Law. They judge wrongly. They are hypocrites. "Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment (v24)." God has given us a mind. We should use it along with the wisdom he provides us. The teaching that says judge not lest you be judged is perfectly in tune with the above command. We are to use sound judgment, being careful to discern what is right. Jesus is afraid of no one. He does not seek his own status, but glory for God the Father. He is willing to say what needs to be said. The house of God, the Temple in Jerusalem, is governed by those who do not keep the Law. Jesus is challenging them to consider what is right before their eyes. They hear his teaching, they witness his works, they know the scriptures, yet they do not see. Judge rightly. Listen to Christ. Consider God's will.

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