Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Book and Its Cover

“Others said, ‘This is the Messiah!’  But some said, ‘Surely, the Messiah doesn’t come from Galilee, does He?  Doesn’t the Scripture say that the Messiah comes from David’s offspring and from the town of Bethlehem, where David once lived?’… ‘You aren’t from Galilee, too, are you?’ they replied. ‘Investigate and you will see that no prophet arises from Galilee.’” (John 4:41-42, 52)

            Have you ever come to a conclusion about someone based on incomplete or inaccurate information?  Has someone ever come to a conclusion about you (and you found out about it later) based on incomplete or inaccurate information?  Most of us can answer yes to both questions.  It seems to be a common human experience to reach a conclusion about people because we are convinced we have complete information, while in truth we may not, and it seems that pride is the fuel that drives this.
            The folks who heard Jesus, who saw Him, who interacted with Him knew Him as a Galilean.  He dressed like a Galilean.  He spoke with a Galilean accent.  Some thus concluded that He could not possibly be the Messiah, because in their understanding of prophecy no prophet could come from Galilee.  But their information was incomplete and inaccurate.  Jesus only grew up in Galilee.  They did not know the Christmas story, that He was born in Bethlehem, David’s home town, and that both Joseph and Mary were direct descendants of David.  Proverbially, they were “judging a book by its cover.”
            The next time you find yourself reaching a conclusion about someone because of some surface feature of their lives, stop a moment and remember this story about Jesus, and then hold up on your conclusion until some greater clarity comes.  Following this approach might just help you discover an unexpected blessing.

Lord, We recognize that we do not always understand the full picture the way You do, so we ask You to help us approach others with open minds and hearts, so that Your Spirit may lead us in ministering to them.  Amen.

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