John 7:24
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
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(24) Judge not according to the appearance.—He has put the case before them in its true light, I and from their own point of view. There was another Positive Precept of Moses which these judges were forgetting, though it, too, formed part of the first section of the Law read at Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 1:16-17). (Comp. Note on John 7:19.) Let them who profess to judge Him by the Law obey it, and form a just and honest opinion, and not be biased by the appearance of a mere technicality. Even if His work did fall under the condemnation of what they held to be the letter of the Mosaic law (comp. Note on John 5:10), they knew perfectly well—and their own practice as to circumcision proved this—that it did so in appearance only.

7:14-24 Every faithful minister may humbly adopt Christ's words. His doctrine is not his own finding out, but is from God's word, through the teaching of his Spirit. And amidst the disputes which disturb the world, if any man, of any nation, seeks to do the will of God, he shall know whether the doctrine is of God, or whether men speak of themselves. Only those who hate the truth shall be given up to errors which will be fatal. Surely it was as agreeable to the design of the sabbath to restore health to the afflicted, as to administer an outward rite. Jesus told them to decide on his conduct according to the spiritual import of the Divine law. We must not judge concerning any by their outward appearance, but by their worth, and by the gifts and graces of God's Spirit in them.Judge not according to the appearance - Not as a thing first offers itself to you, without reflection or candor. In appearance, to circumcise a child on the Sabbath might be a violation of the law; yet you do it, and it is right. So, to appearance, it might be a violation of the Sabbath to heal a man, yet it is right to do works of necessity and mercy.

Judge righteous judgment - Candidly; looking at the law, and inquiring what its spirit really requires.

24. Judge not, &c.—that is, Rise above the letter into the spirit of the law. Do not judge persons, and condemn me for what I have done, merely out of your hatred, prejudice, and malice against me. Or, do not judge according to the first appearance of this fact. It looketh to you as a violation of the sabbath; it is not indeed so, but the performance of a duty greater than that of sanctifying the sabbath is. Judge righteously, and do not condemn in me what you yourselves do in other causes, because of your hatred to and prejudice against me; nor condemn an action which is in itself a righteous action, and not deserving condemnation. Judge not according to the appearance,.... Or through respect of persons, and so as to please men, the Scribes and Pharisees; who had condemned the action of Christ, in curing the diseased man on the sabbath day, and sought to kill him for it:

but judge righteous judgment; give your sense and judgment of things, according to the truth and evidence of them; and do not find fault with that, which you yourselves allow of, and which Moses and his law, and your own practices, justify.

{9} Judge not {g} according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

(9) We must judge according to the truth of things, lest men turn us from the truth and carry us away.

(g) By the show that I make: for I seem to be a despicable person from among the rabble of Galilee, and a carpenter's son, whom no man considers to be very important: but mark the matter itself well, and judge the tree by the fruit.

John 7:24. This closing admonition is general, applicable to every case that might arise, but drawn by way of deduction from the special one in point. According to the outward appearance, that act was certainly, in the Jewish judgment, a breach of the Sabbath; but the righteous judgment was that to which Jesus had now conducted them. Upon ὄψις, id quod sub visum cadit, res in conspicuo posita, see Lobeck, Paralip. p. 512. It does not here mean visage, as in John 11:44, and as Hengstenberg makes it, who introduces the contrast between Christ “without form or comeliness,” and the shining countenance of Moses. On κρίνειν κρίσιν δικαίαν, comp. Tob 3:2; Susannah 53; Zechariah 7:9.24. according to the appearance] ‘According to the appearance’ Christ’s act was a breach of the Sabbath. This is almost certainly the meaning, although the word translated ‘appearance’ may mean ‘face,’ and is rightly translated ‘face’ in John 11:44 (see note there). There is no reference here to Christ’s having ‘no form nor comeliness,’ as if He meant ‘Judge not by My mean appearance.’John 7:24. Μὴ κρίνετε κατʼ ὄψιν, ἀλλὰ τὴν δικαίαν κρίσιν κρίνατε, judge not according to the appearance, but judge true judgment) On that Sabbath, which fell among the days of the Feast of Tabernacles (the Sabbath moreover had fallen this year on the fifth day of the feast), there used to be read the book Ecclesiastes, a great portion of which is this very precept as to avoiding superficial judgment and holding to right judgment. [It is also judging according to appearance, or (what is the same) according to the flesh; ch. John 8:15, “Ye judge after the flesh,” when the letter is taken independently of the (spiritual) sense. Christ Himself judges according to truth. Isaiah 11:3-4, “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.”—V. g.]—τήν) The judgment that is true, is one.[186] This is the force of the article.

[186] Whilst false judgments are many.—E. and T.Verse 24. - Judge not according to appearance ? the superficial aspect of things, the merely formal side, the unexplained letter of the Law. Οψις id quod sub visum cadit res in conspicuo posita. According to that, the healing and the bed carrying consequent upon it would be a positive infraction of a certain enactment. But judge righteous judgment. Consider the case, and see that I have done, in this act of healing, less than you are doing yourselves, notwithstanding all your punctilio, and with a higher justification. The aorist κρίνατε involves probably "the one true and complete decision which the case admits" (Westcott). Appearance (ὄψιν)

Primarily, seeing or sight. In John 11:44; Revelation 1:16, face, and hence external appearance. The word occurs only in the three passages cited.

Righteous judgment (τὴν δικαίαν κρίσιν)

Properly, the righteous judgment; that which is appropriate to the case in hand.

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