Chapter seven of John records how Jesus went up to the Feast of Booths and the Jews reacted to his teaching. They were amazed that he knew so much without any formal education, to which Jesus replied that his teaching came from God. He then pointedly asked them why they sought to kill him, considering that they were all guilty of violating the law of Moses. They denied it, but Jesus brought out how they inconsistently were angry with him for healing on the Sabbath Day while they themselves obeyed Moses’ law regarding circumcision on that same day. He then told them, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
It is easy for us to misjudge others simply by what we see while forgetting that oftentimes there is more to the story than what our eyes tell us. It’s also easy to judge hypocritically by quickly pointing the finger at others while conveniently and inconsistently ignoring the fact that we ourselves are either guilty of the same thing or something close to it (cf. Matt. 7:3-5).
“Right judgment” is always consistent, and it is based on a righteous consideration of all the facts, including those which our eyes might not immediately see. We in the church, continually aware of our own righteousness, must be very careful not to look down on the failings of others while ignoring our own weaknesses which are just like theirs. Rather, let us judge each other rightly, and thus help each other get to heaven.