Saturday, March 14, 2015

It’s A Matter Of Judgment


What can go wrong when a person is healed? Take a look at John’s seventh chapter where Jesus defines how to judge:

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. (John 7:24 KJV)

Look back at what happened that brought about this statement. In John chapter 5, Jesus had healed a man who had taken up his bed and walked away, completely restored to health. Because of this, people sought to kill Jesus for healing on the sabbath – and it had not been forgotten.

In chapter seven, was time for the Feast of the Tabernacles, the seventh feast given to Israel - observed in the fall, in accordance with Leviticus 23:34 and Deuteronomy 16:13. At first, Jesus was not going:

Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee. But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. (John 7:8-10 KJV)

It may have appeared to be secret, but not for long:

Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. (John 7:14 KJV)

His teaching was not well received:

The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee? (John 7:20 KJV)

Jesus then gives an example of what could appear to be the breaking of God’s law in the fulfillment of God’s law:

Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. (John 7:22 KJV)

Remembering the sabbath day and keeping it holy is one of the Ten Commandments. Circumcision is to be done on the eighth day after a boy’s birth, and that might fall on the sabbath. What should be done? Christ answered that:

Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day? (John 7:22-23 KJV)

Which brings us back to verse 24. The lesson I take away from this is that we are to make judgment calls in our Christian lives – not based on superficial appearance, but including positive consequences. Breaking speeding laws isn’t condoned, except in cases of emergencies. What is applicable for ambulances and fire trucks may be applicable for individuals in life-threatening situations. It is a judgment call.  Consider the case and complete the decision making.

Context is important. Calling solely upon Matthew 7:1 indicates a lack of understanding of the fullness of God’s word. It is up to each one of us to read, study, come to understand and teach God’s word as Paul described he did:

For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (Acts 20:27 KJV)

Even Peter said this was hard to understand, but necessary:

And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:15-16 KJV)

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