Jesus wore sandals

A devotion by Joe Guagliardo (Joe G)

1 Samuel 16:7; Matthew 3: 1-5

In the 1990s, my wife Kathy worked at the Palm Beach Board of Realtors while I was serving as youth minister at a church in Lake Worth, FL. At the time, Kathy’s position was bookkeeper.

For those who don’t know Palm Beach, it is just across the bridge from West Palm Beach. It is a very affluent island with many multi-million-dollar homes, where the rich and famous live. (John Lennon, and a former president, just to name two).

Occasionally, I would drive across the bridge to the island and take Kathy to lunch. On one such occasion, it happened to be my day off. So, I was underdressed, to say the least, wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and sandals. When I arrived at Kathy’s office, she wasn’t quite ready, so I took a seat in the waiting area.

A few minutes later, a woman who was a realtor on the island walked into the office. Kathy got up and greeted her and introduced me as her husband. Unfortunately, instead of the standard, “Hi, it’s very nice to meet you,” the female realtor looked down at me and said, “Oh, are you out of work?”

This very well-to-do realtor had judged me by my appearance. I politely told her that I was a full-time church worker and that day was my day off. But, the look in her eyes and manner didn’t change towards me. I was being judged, and I was beneath her. Was it my shirt, shorts, or perhaps because I was wearing sandals?

……………………………………………………………………..

It’s true. As 1 Samuel states, The Lord looks at the inside, our heart, not at how we look outside. Think about what the Bible says about Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist.

“In those days, John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,

‘Prepare the way for the Lord,

make straight paths for him.’”

John’s clothes were made of camel hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan.”

Matthew 3:1-5

Think about what you just read for a moment.

John, Jesus’ cousin, had been living in the wilderness. When he begins preaching to the people of Jerusalem and Judea, he is dressed in clothes made from camel hair. His diet consisted of locusts and wild honey. Even though he had a disheveled appearance, people came from miles around to listen to him preach and be baptized. They saw beyond his appearance; the people knew John was speaking for the heart.

In 1st Samuel God decided that Saul was no longer worthy to be the king of Israel. So God sent Samuel to Bethlehem, where he would find Israel’s next king.

“The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”

But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”

The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”

Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?”

Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.”

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” So, he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”

Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

So, he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.

Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”

So, Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on, the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. 1 Samuel 16:1-13

Outwardly, any one of Jesse’s sons would appear to be qualified to be God’s chosen king of Israel. But, it was as though God himself was standing next to Samuel as Jesse paraded his sons before him. I can almost visualize whispering into Samuel’s ear and saying, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”

Sure, the Bible says, “David was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and was handsome.” But what God saw that day was more profound than David’s outward appearance. He saw David’s love for Him in his heart.

It could happen anywhere. Unfortunately, people are quick to judge by appearances without ever getting to know who someone is. Don’t be that person. Don’t be quick to judge people at all. That’s not our job. Instead, look at the heart of the person. Get to know people and get some insight into their hearts.

When we leave this earth, we forgo all the earthly things behind us. We take no clothes, money, or riches; we will all be judged equally before the Lord.

Always remember what Jesus said in Matthew 7 (Amplified Bible)

“Do not judge and criticize and condemn [others unfairly with an attitude of self-righteous superiority as though assuming the office of a judge], so that you will not be judged [unfairly]. For just as you [hypocritically] judge others [when you are sinful and unrepentant], so will you be judged; and in accordance with your standard of measure [used to pass out judgment], judgment will be measured to you.”

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