A man had a horse. The gate was accidentally left open and the horse escaped. His neighbours came and said, “that was bad luck”. His response was, “bad luck, good luck, who knows?”. A week later the horse came back followed by a herd of wild horses. Since the gate was still open they all followed him in. Seeing what had just happened, the man shut the gate behind him. He now had twenty horses!
The neighbours came again and said, “that was very good luck”. His response was, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?”.
His son started breaking in the wild horses. He fell off one of them and broke his leg. The neighbours came again and said, “that was very bad luck”. His response was the same, “good luck, bad luck, who knows?”.
A week later the army came into town and conscripted every able-bodied young man. When they saw the farmer’s son, with a broken leg, they left him behind! Now was that bad luck or good luck?
Appearances are not always the full truth. How often do we jump to conclusions in our judgements of others and events! The way of wisdom calls for reflection before decision making. So many of us tend to jump to conclusions when it comes to the judgement of others. I hear of people who have been judged wrongly by fellow parishioners when they jump to conclusions based on outward appearances, without them knowing the full facts.
Sometimes we hear of people lying on the footpaths on the side of the road and others walking past them presuming that they are drunk! In fact, the poor person has had a medical episode!
Judgements are often made about individuals based on generalisations made because of race, social standing, religious persuasion, sexual orientation, etc.
Jesus also told us not to jump ahead into the future, consumed by worry about what could possibly happen. Sometimes, what appears to be a bad thing happening can be a “blessing in disguise”.
The very crucifixion of Jesus, evil unjust murder that it was, brought us hope and new life!
The Pharisees so often jumped to conclusions about Jesus and his disciples! They were not allowing themselves to see new possibilities that they had not thought of before.
This is a good reminder to us not to go on appearance alone, and to be very careful on how we make judgements!