Thursday, October 8, 2020

"When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against the people and the law and this place. Moreover, he even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.” For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple." Acts 21:27-29  
"You can't judge a book by its cover" became popular in contemporary literature during the 1940s. This phrase has been part of folk wisdom ever since, but sadly, not as often practiced as preached. We still judge others by the people they are seen with or the places that they visit. We "suppose" by appearances.
Paul was seized and dragged out of the Temple due to false conclusions. He was judged, tried and convicted by those who saw him with Trophimus the Ephesian. A good person was deemed guilty of wrongful doing before the "cover" of the situation was opened. Paul's future suffered a downward spiral because someone "supposed" by appearances.
Just as David prayed in Psalm 139:23 "Search me, O God, and know my heart!", may we search for the facts before we judge other people. As we follow the second "Great" commandment of Matthew 22:39, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself", may we judge others as we would be judged. Never just "suppose" by appearances.

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