Summary: An Expositional series on the book of James
All day long I am around people from India, Pakistan, and other places in the world where they have a very different standard of living. I show up at work, freshly bathed, shaved, wearing men’s cologne, and wearing clean, well pressed, good quality clothing.
But many times when I walk up to one of the poorly dressed men or women from India or Pakistan to talk to them about something we are working on I will get a whiff of curry or body odor. There have been times when it was very difficult to set through and hour long meeting with a person with different values toward cleanliness.
Around my house I am constantly begging my children to bath, comb their hair, and put on nicer cloths, but I cannot make value judgments on who they are in relation to their outward appearance.
Neither should we judge others by outward appearance.
James, the half brother of Jesus, and Bishop of the Jerusalem Church, looks around the church and discovers that he has a problem in the church. Brothers and sisters in the church are showing partiality towards those who have the finer things in life, over those who cannot afford to live the life.
So James addresses the problem to the church;
Jam 2:1 My brothers, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, [the Lord] of glory, with respect of persons.
ðñïóùðïëçìøίá – (only occurs for times in the NT) the fault of one who when called on to give judgment has respect of the outward circumstances of man and not to their intrinsic merits, and so prefers, as the more worthy, one who is rich, high born, or powerful, to another who does not have these qualities
So Literally it says, translating from the Greek – My brothers, do not, in respect to judging others by outward appearance, have faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, Glory.
The Les version: Brothers & sisters in Christ, don’t judge others by outward appearance, holding a better opinion of a man or women who has nice cloths, a nice car, and a nice house, then you do of those who have little,
and at the same time say you are a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ, Glorious.
For Emphasis, James places the word Glorious at the end of the sentence.
In other words, if you consider the Lord Jesus Christ Glorious, then do not glory in one person over another person. In the sight of God, Man in man and God is God. To be a Christian and judge another man or women by what they have or wear is to say that God does also. You are misrepresenting God, to the people on the earth.
Remember, When Jesus died and rose from the dead and departed to Heaven, he sent back His Spirit, the Holy Spirit to live in you. If you are judging others, in respect to what they have or wear, you are showing partiality toward them, over those who do not have.
You are saying, as the representative of God in the earth, filled with the Holy Spirit of God, that God judges people this way, when in truth, He does not!
So James says;
Jam 2:2-4 For if there come unto your assembly (your church) a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel (a man with a well pressed $400 dollar Brooks Brothers suit and gold cuff links or a women with a Neiman Marcus dress and a real pearl necklace), and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment (stinky, dirty, old shirt and tattered jeans) ; And you have respect to him that wears the goodly clothing, and say unto him, Sit you here in a good place (The place of honor); and say to the poor, Stand you there, or sit here under my footstool: Are you not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?