Advent is a great time to be (or become) a fan of the Old Testament. So many have the mistaken notion that the Old Testament is passe, or no longer valid. Psshh! We know that the New Testament is concealed in the Old, and Old Testament revealed in the New. We’ll be reading so many great prophesies from the OT during Advent. Things start wonderfully today with our first reading from Isaiah 11. In the Gospel reading from Luke 10, Jesus tells the disciples what a privilege they have been given to know Him. Hey…same for us!
In Isaiah 11, we read about the Messiah. Of course, Jesus fulfilled all of these perfectly. There is much (everything) to be thankful for in Jesus. One of the passages that always strikes me in Isaiah 11 is this…”Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide.” Wow. Sounds almost super-human, doesn’t it? After all, isn’t it within our nature to do both of those things? Judge by appearance and decide by hearsay. We’re so quick to judge those who look different. And we tend to believe lots of bad stuff that others say, without any substantiation in fact.
Not doing these things isn’t super-human, really. Rather, it is divine. Jesus knows our hearts, and He doesn’t particularly care what we look like. So, are these things that we can stop doing? Absolutely! How? By tapping into the Divine. Through prayer, Scripture reading and practice, we can become more like Christ, the Just Judge. When we learn to look at people’s hearts rather than their appearance; when we learn to listen to people’s hearts, rather than what others say about them, then we will be more like Jesus.
Father, forgive us for falling into the traps of judging by appearance and listening to hearsay. Help us each day to be more like Jesus. Amen.
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