Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. Jn. 7:24
Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. Jn. 8:15
These are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ to the Jews of His day.
The Bible tells us that Moses had an Ethiopian woman.
“And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.” (Num. 12:1)
She must have been a black woman because Ethiopians are black. But, of course, scholars might have found evidence to the contrary. Scholars are wonderful people, they discover great things. I have not had the time to find out whether they have something to say about the skin color of this woman. For the sake of the possibility of someone out there having discovered something different, I will not press the point that she was black. Suffice it to say that she was not a Jew. She was different; and this fact came to the notice of Miriam and Aaron.
Do you know who Miriam and Aaron were? The Bible states that Miriam was a prophetess (Ex. 15:20). Miriam also is she whose song is written in the Bible (Ex. 15:21). Do you know what it means for one’s words (let alone an entire song) to be written in the Bible?
As for Aaron, he was the greatest of God’s high priests who ever lived. The Bible is simply smitten with him and his ministry.
Miriam and Aaron are among the greatest people that ever graced the Bible. They were great people with God.
And yet… these two rose up against the servant of God, Moses, on account of his wife. I wonder how these two arrived at having a problem with this woman (you will find the answer below).
But, pray, how often do you think such things happen today? At my age I have met many people of different races, and I can attest to the fact that many light-skinned people (Caucasians, Chinese, Arabs, Indians) have a problem with black people. Some simply cannot accept black people. They consider a black man to be beneath them.
I had always wondered at the stories that I had heard about racism… until I visited a certain country which is not black. One day, as I was walking across a school courtyard in that country, I saw students pointing and exclaiming loudly, “Africain, Africain!” I could feel their gaze on me.
It was not that I was the only African in that country. But I was different. I had just arrived in from darkest Africa, and this fact was clearly noticeable.
This was my first – and only – experience of direct racism; and it was strangely surreal.
Indirectly, though, racism is as prevalent as the sun. You can feel it in many subtle – and not-so-subtle – forms.
But to be racist does not mean only looking down on people. Even looking up to people is racism. It means we are differentiating. To the extent that we are capable of making differences among us, therefore, each one of us is racist.
Scientists, however, have proven that we cannot blame Miriam, Aaron, nor ourselves for this undesirable situation. They have discovered that deep within us there are certain genetic factors at play that we simply cannot control. In fact, these factors control us. The genetic pull within us is just too strong. This is what causes us to judge people as we do.
It is God who created these genes. But then sin came and distorted everything. But thank God He is greater than sin! Through His death on the cross, Jesus vanquished sin and all its works, including distorted genes. And now, God demands that, once we accept Jesus into our lives, we are to cast off these kinds of genetic attitudes, for we are no longer under genetic control, but we are under the rulership of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the ruler of all creation.
For this reason, therefore, we are not to judge
“according to the appearance”.
“after the flesh”.
But, by the power of the Holy Spirit in us, we can judge differently. We can judge
What does it mean to judge righteous judgment?
It means you do not judge by what you see on the outside. On the contrary, you judge according to someone’s heart. You judge people by their hearts.
And what, moreover, does it mean to judge people by their hearts?
The heart of man is where sin lives. Here, therefore, Jesus was saying simply, “Judge a man by whether he has sinned or not.” Simple and clear. That ought to be the way we, as the Church, judge people. We are not to judge people in any other way.
When we were young children, I used to overhear the father of one of my friends say, “The white man is the child of God.”
That stuck with me. But I have come to discover that, in spite of all his conquests in the natural, when it comes to matters of the heart the white man is as culpable to sin as the next man.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…” (Rom. 3:23)
We judge people by so many things. But God judges us in only one regard: whether we have sinned or not. God’s enemy is sin, not a man’s skin color. Or his level of education.
The Apostle Paul asks,
“For who maketh thee to differ from another?” (1 Cor. 4:7)
As the Church of Jesus Christ, would we be willing to judge people according to the Word of God? Or are we going to look at people’s skin color, their education levels, their cars and houses and money…
But we are to live according to God’s Word. We are to tell people who sin, “Hey, God doesn’t like that.”
And we are to encourage those who are running the race well, regardless of how different they may be from us in the natural.
[Whom shall I fear?]