Chapter 2 of James spends fully half of the chapter on the subject of showing partiality to those who are rich over those who are poor. The second half deals with faith, and though it is a very important part of the chapter, we have covered it in this previous post if you would like to read more about verses 14-26.
The chapter begins by talking about how it is a sin to show partiality to those who come into the assembly. But the following verses make it clear that it is a sin to do so under any circumstances or setting. How natural it seems to most of us to consider ourselves compassionate toward others. But how natural still it is to turn our attentions more fully to those who surround us that are more popular. Usually, they are favored because of their station in life, their better dress, fine cars, and other material reasons. But sometimes, their material possessions may not have so much to do with it.
Often, all it takes to make them more attractive to us is literally how physically attractive, or even athletic, they are. It is a sad fact that those who are less attractive, or perhaps even those who seem less capable to most people often get left out – or even left behind. That is a lesson that those who are left out begin to learn even as children. Sadly, those guilty of this sin often never outgrow it. Sadder still, are the hearts that often get broken.
The key is in the tie-in to verses 8-11. The Lord commanded us to love our neighbor. But as the scripture points out, you can love your neighbors and treat one of them better than the other for really lousy reasons. Conducting ourselves this way, the verses say is no better than committing murder while patting ones self on the back for not being an adulterer.
Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.