If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. James 2:8-9
Listen: James 2
In today’s scripture, James brings favoritism back to the “royal law.” James reminds them what Jesus said were the two greatest commandments (Matthew 22:35-40). He says it’s great if they love their neighbor, but showing favoritism is breaking Jesus’ instruction. And if you break one of God’s instructions, you are just as guilty as if you broke them all.
James tells them everyone needs God’s grace, so no one should be able to earn favoritism. Everyone needs God’s grace, so no one should feel like they are better than anyone else.
God’s lavished his grace and mercy on us through the work of Jesus on the cross. Jesus’s life and death offer us a relationship with God and the opportunity to avoid the punishment we deserve. We could never earn a relationship with God or do enough to work our way out of the punishment we deserve.
If we are honest with ourselves about how bad our predicament was without Jesus, it should change the way we view others. Instead of looking at people and judging them, we will look at people and see they are just like us. We will see ourselves in the people we don’t like. That’s an essential element of the gospel. We were all hopeless together. Jesus gives us value; we don’t get it from anything we can do.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Memorize James 2:8-9. Download the lock screen below or write it on a card and place it somewhere you can see it regularly. Let it serve as a reminder to try to look at people as God sees them instead of valuing them the way our culture does.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.