Judging With Right Judgment

“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” (v. 24).  – John 7:14–24

Six months or so before the brothers of Jesus implored Him to go up to the Feast of Booths and do signs, He escaped a crowd that attempted to force Him into leading a revolution against Rome (John 6:15). That is likely one of the reasons why our Lord did not initially follow His brothers’ wishes but told them that His time to go up for the feast had not yet arrived (7:8). Due to the speculation about His ministry (vv. 10–13), it seems He did not want to cause a stir among those who had false expectations about the Messiah. He would enter the public eye on His terms, not theirs.

That could not have been the only reason Jesus did not go to the feast at first, for Jesus eventually traveled to Jerusalem and taught publicly in the temple (v. 14). Surely, He would not have done this if His concern was solely to avoid encouraging false messianic expectations. The only explanation is that Jesus went up for the Feast of Booths when He did because of His commitment to doing His Father’s will (6:38), and God directed Him when to go up to Jerusalem.

Jesus astonished the audience in the temple with His learning and authority that could not have come from any formal theological training (7:15). In response, Jesus stressed again that His teaching belonged not to Him alone but to the Father and that those who want to do the will of God will recognize the truth of His teaching, stressing also His commitment to the glory of God (vv. 16–18). But the crowd did not want to do God’s will, for they did not want to keep God’s law, and the proof of that was that people wanted to kill Jesus (v. 19).  View article →