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Preventing favoritism

Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear? James 2:5-7 NLT

From the text, James is not promoting the idea that poor people are a lot better than the rich for they have greater opportunity to be saved. There are those who are poor yet are poor spiritually. Same thing with those who are rich materially but poor spiritually. James is providing a general principle that poor people are spiritually advantaged. Our Lord Jesus Christ came to this world and “took the humble position of a slave” (Philippians 2:7). He was raised up in a poor family. After the forty days and forty nights of fasting and the confrontation with Satan who was attempting to tempt Him, the Lord Jesus Christ proceeded to the synagogue and gave this admonition where He quoted Isaiah’s prophecy regarding the coming Messiah. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come (Luke 4:18-19). The Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled what the Father had set Him out to do. James’s assertion is that believers should prevent themselves from treating kindly only the rich people and neglect the poor. Both groups of people should be treated well for both should come to the saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. James argued that it is the rich “who oppress you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ” (James 2:6-7)? Once again, James is pointing out a general historic experience by the Jews in the hands of some of the rich people. Today, materialism is a big problem for it can corrupt and pervert the soul. Materialistic fixation can lead to spiritual instability. This is why the Lord Jesus Christ is not impressed with material wealth. He also is not impressed with the tattered attire of the poor. God cares about what is inside us, what is in our hearts. God’s call and a privilege for us who had come to know Him as our Lord and Savior is to serve Him faithfully in our relationships with various types of people not showing any favoritism.


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