“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God (Revelation 3:19).”
“He shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” [i]
Jesus teaches that we should not “judge according to the appearance but judge righteous judgment.” We can read about this in John 7. Some accused Jesus of having a devil because He said that they sought to kill Him. They were angry because He healed a man on the sabbath. Jesus reasoned that if circumcision could be done on the sabbath, then why not heal a man on the sabbath?
In addition to the above statement, Jesus said that He did not seek His own glory, but the glory of the One who sent Him. Therefore, He is true and there is no unrighteousness in Him. [ii]
This is one example of Jesus as the “faithful and true witness.” He judges righteously in that He does not judge according to what seems to be good in the eyes of man, but according to what is actually good. Moreover, He is faithful to the One who sent Him. Jesus consistently strove to seek the glory of His Father and not Himself. He stated that He could only do and say what the Father gave Him to do and say.
Mankind is prone to doing the opposite. We are prone to judging according to what we see and hear, and we judge prejudicially and with hypocrisy—and very often this is because we seek our own honor over that of another. The religious leaders of His day were outwardly righteous in the eyes of man, and they considered themselves to be above others.
They could not receive Jesus because they were full of themselves. They had to be superior, and anyone that challenged their authority was hated. They could not receive correction or instruction, and even a good deed was rendered evil in their sight because of their vehement hatred and envy. All they could see was the poor, carpenter’s son and the unlearned Galilean. Jesus was judged a blasphemer and as having a devil. They could not see who Jesus really was. They could not see the inner man, because they had superficial sight, and with superficiality they justified themselves while condemning others.
Jesus is the opposite. He does not care how great a person appears to be in the sight of others or in their own sight. He sees who a person really is. He can see beyond the flesh and into the spirit, because He is born of the Spirit of God. He could judge rightly if He so chose. Yet, Jesus did not come to judge man:
The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me (John 8:13-16).
It is truly remarkable that He who could righteously judge man chose to refrain from judgment. He did not come into the world to condemn man, but to save them because they were condemned already. Rather, He was a faithful witness of the Father as He who spoke the truth, not for His glory, but for the Father’s. Yet, one day Jesus will judge the earth because the Father has given all judgement to Him. As the righteous judge that He is, He will “reprove with equity for the meek of the earth.” He judges in favor of the humble who do not seem to be anything in the eyes of man, and He will slay the wicked with the truth of who they are.
The thing is, we all deserve to be killed because of who we are. We are all sinners, yet He chooses to save some of us. When we put our faith in Him, it is His righteousness that we put our trust in. Not ours. It requires humility to know that our righteousness is not enough and never will be. We need Jesus, and we always need Him no matter how far we think we have come. After-all, all good things we have came from Him in the first place, and only He has the fullness of the Spirit of God. There is always more for us to seek and gain. When He looks at us, He does not see an enemy that needs to be destroyed, but a child that needs to be raised in His will. This might mean discipline and consequences for our wrong-doings. Not many wrongs are as harmful as trusting in the appearance of things, especially the appearance of our own righteousness or worldly gain.
There is another idea to consider. Jesus is also our Faithful and True Advocate to the Father. He claims us as His own, and what He testifies on our behalf is good. Though The Accuser and those who are of the same spirit often testify against us, they will not prevail because the testimony of Jesus and those who are of His Spirit are greater. If we need to be defended, then He will come to our defense by the Spirit of Truth within us. If we need to be killed, then He will raise us. We do not need to worry about how we appear to others who judge according to appearances or in an otherwise unrighteous manner. We do not need to fear anyone. We will stand by one another in the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, and He has the final say.
[i] Isaiah 11:3-5
[ii] John 7
This is an excerpt from a chapter I am working on within These Things Saith He. It is good to know that Jesus is on our side. It is also good to remember that He rebukes us when we need it, including when we judge according to the appearance of a thing or in an otherwise unjust or unrighteous manner.
We should not be concerned with how we appear, but rather, that we should bring glory to Jesus. We also should strive to be faithful and true witnesses of the true things of Jesus as He gives to us. We also should strive to do the same for one another in the faith as we welcome the truth from our brethren. We do not sugar coat each others sins or flatter, but we also should not be quick to broadcast one another’s faults. We should always be on guard against the enemy who accuses us and our brethren before man and God. The Accuser is good at accusing us and turning us against each other. I need to stay on guard, too.
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