03-18-07

Jesus was often misunderstood.  His own brothers didn’t quite understand who He was (John 7:5).  When He healed on the Sabbath and challenged their traditions, they misunderstood (John 7:23).  They knew Messiah was to come from Bethlehem (John 7:42), but when they saw Jesus’ Galilean driver’s license, they assumed He was born there instead of Bethlehem – and again they misunderstood. They reasoned among themselves that no prophet ever came from Galilee (John 7:52), probably because in Jesus’ day, the Galilee was a place of settlers, backwoods people who didn’t have much education.  Religious teachers came from Jerusalem, not Galilee.  Religious teachers were sent from Jerusalem to Galilee, not from Galilee to Jerusalem.  Yet even their assumption about Galilee was wrong, because in their own Scriptures the prophets Jonah, Elijah, and Nahum all came from Galilee.

So when Jesus began to teach and become known, He was an enigma.  People didn’t know what to do with Him.  And as a result, He was misunderstood.  Jesus said simply, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24 NKJV).

I wonder how many people I’ve misunderstood?  It’s not uncommon for me to get frustrated or angry at people or situations.  But it’s so embarrassing when I’ve worked up such a righteous indignation only to find that I simply and totally didn’t understand.  I was looking at the appearance of things and didn’t bother to find out what was really going on.  May God help us look past the appearance of things.