Commands of Christ: 57

Do not judge by appearances, but judge justly.

“Stop judging by appearances, but judge justly.”  John 7:24

This command is given in the context of Jesus being rebuked by the religious leaders for healing a man on the Sabbath.  Jesus responds by admonishing them to live by God’s character, nature, purposes, ways, and desires rather than merely legalism.  This is a contrast between living according to Law versus living by the Spirit.

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  (1 Samuel 16:7b)  When God told this to the prophet Samuel, there was a fairly dramatic illustration given.  The current king of Israel, Saul, was outwardly impressive, but proved to be immature and unfaithful.  When Samuel, according to God’s instruction, was choosing a new king from among the seven sons of Jesse, he was inclined to select the most impressive one.  God, however, saw deeper than that.  God chose the younger and less impressive David because of his heart, which was like God’s heart.

Let us press on to know God more fully and intimately in order that we may understand his character, nature, purposes, ways and desires.  Let us live according to the Spirit rather than according to the Law.