Is this a tree? Really? Look closely ... what else can you see?
Watch this great antelope rescue. Would you believe it if I told you that I joined an animal rescue group and this was my first assignment? I'm 49 years old, so you can imagine how this taxed me! I can only do one or two of these a week! (Thanks to my friend Joe Bill Vardeman for this one).
"Things are aren't always what they seem" is an old saying, but it isn't a trite saying. Much wisdom resides in that oft repeated phrase.We judge largely by external circumstances and appearances. That is all we have to go by. We don't always know the matters of the heart, such as intentions, motivations, fears.
Suppose you see me, a preacher, walking into a bar. Do you assume I am living a double life, or that I am responding to a call from someone who has almost given in to drinking again, but needs encouragment to resist?
Jesus knew the heart and behavior of men did not always operate in sync. Sometimes seemingly good men had bad intentions and seemingly bad people actually had good hearts. Early in his ministry, when people began to believe in him, Jesus would not entrust himself to them because he knew what was in their hearts (John 2:23-25). Early, ecstatic followers could later prove to be equally energetic deserters. To Pharisees who judged him harshly because of the attention he received from a sinful woman Jesus said, "She loves me more than you do" (parahprased from Luke 7:47). Of a Gentile woman the Jewish disciples wanted to drive away Jesus said, "Woman, you have great faith!" He granted her request (Matthew 15:28).
How accurately can we judge from externals the latent possibility for faith, response, change, or growth in another person?
(Note: In the tree picture you should be able to find 10 faces. Thanks to my Dad for this).