The Book of James: Chapter 2 (Part 1)
Okay, so this isn’t fair. This chapter is way too amazing and I want to write a devotion on both of these sections. Verses 1-13 and verses 14-26 are distinct parts of the chapter that each have amazing messages. So, we’re going to cut this chapter in half and do one part, then the other next week. What we’re going to be focusing on today is verses 1-13, so maybe take a second and re-read that. It hits home doesn’t it? These 13 verses are all discouraging Christians showing favoritism, either for gain of the Church, personal gain, or really for any reason at all. God doesn’t show favoritism, and neither should we.
Another way to talk about favoritism is to talk about separation and putting a certain kind of person on a higher pedestal than the others. When James the brother of Jesus wrote this letter, he obviously wrote this particular section knowing that it would speak into the society around Palestine that the recipients of this letter would be living in. They are people, just like us. Their society is broken, just like ours. Think about how many distinct forms of separation there are in our society that allows us to see others as lesser. Here are a few as an example; political affiliation, country of origin, racism (look at the Ahmaud Arbery case as an example), socio-economic status, education, career path, and unfortunately many many more.
All of these separations make it easy for us as Christians to dismiss other people or to look down on them because they don’t fit our idea of “who we are”. That doesn’t work. The Church is not meant to have separations and favoritisms that set others apart and higher than others. We are all in this together, no matter what any of the labels that society has placed on us may be. Jesus doesn’t care what we might classify that person as. In his eyes, they are his child, and he loves them. As Christians, we need to be able to move past our broken society’s way of showing favoritism and instead show love in all circumstances, to all people, with the same love that Jesus showed us. Let’s take a step of spiritual maturity and break through the barriers that our culture has placed around us.
Pastor Alex Gebert Crossroads Wesleyan Church