I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and were about to spend time with family and friends! Today we begin looking at James 2. You can also begin this study at Chapter 1 by going here
1 My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, ”Here’s a good seat for you, ”but say to the poor man, ”you stand there” or ”Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?James 2:1-4 NIV
As I look at these verses, I see that James is warning his readers not to prejudge a person by the way they dress or what they possess. We should follow the second greatest commandment to:
‘Love your neighbor as yourself’,Matthew 22: 39
But, I believe he is actually saying more than that. Let’s remember his audience. This letter is written to the Jewish-Christians. They used to by Jews, but they have chosen to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, living in a world of persecution. He is warning against giving precedence to the rich, that’s not how Christ works. Everyone deserves to be shown respect.
We can’t let public opinion influence the way we see the world, because we are not of this world. It’s the same way today. We have to look at the issues of today from the perspective of God. The world view is not the way God wants Christians to function. We would be judging people and I don’t think that’s our place.
5 Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6 But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? 7 Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?James 2: 5-7 NIV
When we think about what is important to God, we know that he didn’t choose the rich to be the most important. He chose a young girl to be the mother of His son. She found favor with the Father. Jesus talked to the Samaritan woman at the well and she became the first evangelist. Moses, who was not a man good of speech was chosen to lead God’s people out of Egypt and to the Promised Land. It was the people who believed and trusted in the Lord.
I think that we need to have the take away here, that we aren’t to judge others. We should treat each person as Jesus did.
We’ll take a look at the rest of this section on favoritism on Saturday. Open your Bible and study this. Share your thoughts in the comments below. I know that I don’t have all the answers.