Beware of Personal Favoritism
2 My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the
Lord of glory, with partiality.2 For
if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel,
and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, 3 and
you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit
here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here
at my footstool,” 4 have
you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
5 Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to
be rich in faith and heirs of the
kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? 6 But
you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into
the courts? 7 Do
they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?
8 If you really fulfill the royal
law according to the Scripture, “You
shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you
do well; 9 but
if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as
transgressors. 10 For
whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he
is guilty of all. 11 For
He who said, “Do
not commit adultery,” also
if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor
of the law. 12 So
speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For
judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over
From Series: "Book of James"
Description and/or characterization of a person or a people.The author identifies himself as James (1:1); he was probably the brother of Jesus and leader of the Jerusalem council (Ac 15). Four men in the NT have this name. The author of this letter could not have been the apostle James, who died too early (a.d. 44) to have written it. The other two men named James had neither the stature nor the influence that the writer of this letter had.
James was one of several brothers of Christ, probably the oldest since he heads the list in Mt 13:55. At first he did not believe in Jesus and even challenged him and misunderstood his mission (Jn 7:2–5). Later he became very prominent in the church:
He was one of the select individuals Christ appeared to after his resurrection (see 1Co 15:7 and note).
Paul called him a “pillar” of the church (Gal 2:9).
Paul, on his first post-conversion visit to Jerusalem, saw James (Gal 1:19).
Paul did the same on his last visit (Ac 21:18).
When Peter was rescued from prison, he told his friends to tell James (Ac 12:17).
James was a leader in the important council of Jerusalem (Ac 15:13).
Jude could identify himself simply as “a brother of James” (Jude 1:1), so well known was James. He was martyred c. a.d. 62.