You Cannot Judge a Book by Its Cover

“Man looks at the outward appearance,
but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

Our title today is a wise saying that means outward appearances can be deceiving. Some very wonderful things can come to us in deceptively common dressing.

A friend of mine was a university professor and went into his first class with some new students dressed as an electrician. He carried a tool box, wore shabby work clothes and heavy construction boots. He deliberately went into the lecture hall 5 minutes after the class was to start. He put his tool box down with a bang to attract attention and then said, “Does anyone know where the faulty electrical box is?” No one could tell him.

He then asked the students why they were there. Someone said that they were waiting for their professor to show up for the class. “Why isn’t he here?” my friend asked. Students then started to say things like maybe he was absent minded and forgot. Others made rude comments about the absent professor and suddenly one student shouted out, “Why don’t you give us a lecture?”

My friend told them he would, opened his tool box, pulled out his lecture notes and began to teach the class. The stunned students roared with laughter as they realised he had a joke played on them. The point my friend was making was that you cannot judge a person by their appearance. There may be a lot more to them than what you see.

If anyone has seen a photo of the greatest genius of the 20th century, Albert Einstein, in his older years you likely saw the classic one with his white hair really messy and his tongue stuck out. Einstein loved humour and one day he stuck his tongue out at the photographer. If you saw that photo you might think you were looking at a mad man.

When Jesus came from heaven to take on our humanity He was an ordinary looking man. Isaiah 53:2 says, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” (NIV) So Jesus was an ordinary looking person Who did not turn heads when He walked by.

However, it was when He spoke that suddenly people realised that He was no ordinary mortal. One day some police were sent to arrest Jesus but came back without him. The officials asked them why they did not capture our Lord. John 7:46 quotes the police as saying, “No one ever spoke the way this man does…” (NIV)

As you struggle with the problems you face in this life, it is so important to really hear Jesus speaking. You need to ponder His words.

If you get past all the various descriptions of Jesus and listen to what He says, rather than what others say about Him, you will be truly blessed. Look up Jesus’ words in the Gospels of the Bible. He will amaze you like those police so long ago, as you read His gracious, wise and loving words.

Why not get your Bible out today and start reading this amazing Jesus, who spoke as no one has ever spoken before. You can’t judge a book by its cover.

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