I would venture to say that every single one of us has wrestled with attitudes of prejudice - in terms of showing favoritism or focusing on the externals. We tend to draw conclusions based solely on the way people look and almost instantly form an attitude that says, “my minds made up, don’t confuse me with the facts.
”Favoritism comes in all shapes and sizes. It might be based on physical appearance, economic status, race, education, or almost anything else. It says, “I decide how I feel about someone based on criteria that I decide.”
The whole point of our passage in James 2 is to expose that kind of faulty thinking. James is writing to believers to tell them their belief in the “glorious Lord Jesus Christ” doesn’t match their attitude toward other people. To favor some people and to disregard others based on outward factors is a sin that plagued the early church, and every church since. It all stems from pride.
There are two primary reasons why prejudice and favoritism have no place in the life of a Christian (James 2:1-13):
1. Theological - God shows no partiality so neither should His children! Christ never looked at the outward appearance, He looked at the heart. He wasn’t impressed with money or social status. Jesus was clearly a friend of sinners. All the walls of separation have been torn down. Real love extends to everyone and has no barriers.
2. Biblical - James points his readers to a passage of Scripture that they all should all immediately recognize, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” To show partiality to the rich and to discriminate against the poor is to break God’s law. And to break God’s law in this one matter is to become a violator of the whole law.
The makeup of the local church should baffle the world.
The world should not be able to explain how people of different races, economic and social levels, as well as age groups, can come together in love and harmony.
Friends, Christ didn’t come just to save the rich, just the Jews, or just the good looking (aren't you glad)? He came to seek and save the lost! Why? Because of Love! So great is His love for us that He said to His Son, “no one else can pay the penalty for their sin.” He doesn’t leave one work for you to take care of. God’s Lamb did it all so that whoever - doesn’t matter what gender, race, nationality, color, maturity level, education or location. Whoever believes can have a personal relationship with the Savior of the World
James’ final words in this passage challenge his readers to “speak and act.” Let your words and actions reflect your relationship with Christ. Don’t let any of the barriers that commonly hold us back keep you from extending the love of Christ to others today.