On one occasion Jesus said, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with righteous judgment” (Jn. 7:24). Considering the context of an incorrect application by the Jewish leaders regarding the law of the Sabbath, we find signifiant lessons.
How often do we judge a situation or an individual based on the appearance? If we are honest, more often than we should.
We rarely examine the situation to learn the facts or talk with the person in order to know them. Sadly, this almost always leads to wrong conclusions and unfair assessments. Further, it demonstrates poor leadership.
The Jewish leaders could not see beyond the strict legality of their traditions, which they believed to be based on the law. It was their envy and jealousy toward Jesus that moved them to pursue whatever extremes necessary to remove a perceived threat to their power.
When leaders today become entangled in these same practices, based on the same attitudes of the heart, righteous judgment is hindered and appearances become the only basis for assessment. The results are always destructive.