Today’s Scripture: John 7:21-24
21 Jesus replied, “I did one miracle on the Sabbath, and you were amazed. 22 But you work on the Sabbath, too, when you obey Moses’ law of circumcision. (Actually, this tradition of circumcision began with the patriarchs, long before the law of Moses.) 23 For if the correct time for circumcising your son falls on the Sabbath, you go ahead and do it so as not to break the law of Moses. So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath? 24 Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”
This Sunday I am preaching about judging based on what’s on the outside. I’m not using this passage – but I easily could have. The warnings about judging based on what we see instead of what is on the inside are all over the New Testament. It seems to be a theme of Jesus – and thus a theme of God.
In this passage from John, Jesus is confronting those who were criticizing him for healing on the Sabbath. Of course, Jesus is saying that the law of love is the most important; and healing someone is more loving than not healing them just because it’s on the Sabbath. He also is pointing out the hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders. They make choices about the rules as well.
But the phrase that gets me in this passage is “Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.” I think there is a lot of judging without looking beneath the surface in our culture.
We see a headline or hear a cable news talking head and assume we know the whole story. We notice the way someone is dressed or the color of their skin and think we’ve got them all figured out. We “heard someone say” one time and therefore it’s true.
Jesus is telling us here that we need to do the work. We need to take the time to investigate, ask questions, get to know someone. Only by looking beneath the surface can we judge correctly.
In what ways are you “surface judging” right now? What would it take to commit to looking beneath the surface? It seems that that’s what Jesus wants his disciples to do – even us.
This Week’s Immerse Passages:
Week 7, Feb 15-21; Hebrews, James, John
Day 31 pp. 367-377 Heb 1:1-7:28
Day 32 pp. 377-387 Heb 8:1-13:25
Day 33 pp. 389-396 Jam 1:1-5:19
Day 34 pp. 397-411 Joh 1:1-6:70
Day 35 pp. 411-423 Joh 7:1-12:50