Summary: Rich Man, Poor Man - James chapter 2 verses 1-13 - sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


(1). The Principle Stated (vs 1).

(2). The Principle Illustrated (vs 2-4)

(3). The Principle Explained (vs 5-11)

(3). Principle Applied (vs 12-13).



• We have expression that goes; ‘blind justice’.

• It comes from the Greek statue for justice, which is a woman wearing a blindfold;

• Lady Justice is actually the Roman goddess Iustitia (I-a-sti-tia).

• There are three distinctive features of Lady Justice:

• They are a set of scales, a blindfold, and a sword.

Lady Justice, but she has been represented in different ways in the various countries:

• For example, atop the Old Bailey courthouse in London,

• A statue of Lady Justice stands without a blindfold;

• This is because Lady Justice was originally not blindfolded,

• And because her "maidenly form" is supposed to guarantee her impartiality;

• Which renders the blindfold redundant.

• But from about the Since the 16th century,

• Lady Justice has often been depicted wearing a blindfold.

• And in other countries such as the U.S.A.

• She wears a blindfold to symbolize impartiality.

• The reason is she cannot see who comes before her,

• If they are friends or enemies, high or low, rich or poor.

• On the evidence alone

• She will weigh one side against the other with her scale of justice.

• Both of those individuals will be treated the same.


• This is what it means when the Bible says that God is no respecter of persons.

• It simply means that with God there are no favourites.

• He is not impressed by social standing or by the colour of a person’s skin.

• God shows no favouritism.

• But unfortunately so often his followers do!


• "An unprejudiced mind is the rarest thing in the world"

• Unless you happen to be like the man who said:

• "I am not prejudiced, I hate everyone !"

• But if we are honest;

• All of us are biased or prejudiced,

• And the things that affect me are probably very different to the things that affect you;

• And vice-versa.

• We all concise or un-concisely have a list of certain people we like to be with;

• And if were honest we have a list of people we don’t like to be with!

To be blunt there are desirable people and there are undesirable people:

• i.e. Some of us would rather spend time with educated people;

• And we can look down on those who don’t have a strong academic background.

• i.e. Some have certain race or ethnic groups they don’t want to associate with,

• i.e. Some would rather be with young people so they don’t make time for the elderly.

• i.e. Some would…you can fill in the blanks.

• The apostle James says in chapter 2, verses 1-11:

• That prejudice and partiality are wrong!

• And when we see it in action we need to deal with it!

James presents his case against prejudice in a sermon style way:

• First, he introduces a principle in verse 1,

• Second, he illustrates it in verses 2-4,

• Third, he explains it in verses 5-11,

• Fourth, he applies it in verses 12-13.

• So, let’s follow his outline and division;

• And start with the first point.

(1). The Principle Stated (vs 1).

“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favouritism.”

James refers to his readers as ‘brother and sisters’:

• It is a reminder that this letter is written to the family.

• He is speaking to believers, committed followers of Jesus.

• Maybe it’s a reminder to these Churches that you can choose your friends;

• But you are stuck with your family!

• I think the point he is making is very clear:;

• The world in which we live may live and act one way;

• But in the family of God we are to act and live differently!

• And one of the ways we should be different to the world in which we live;

• Is in the area of relationships.

• In the area of accepting people, valuing people and befriending people.

So the apostle James is dealing with the topic of favouritism:

• In fact our word ‘favouritism’ here comes from two words in the Greek language;

• Which, when put together, mean "to receive by face."

• It's the idea of judging others solely on external face values.

• Externals such as clothes, money, social standing etc.


• In his autobiography, Mahatma Gandhi wrote that during his student days;

• He read the Gospels seriously and considered converting to Christianity.

• He believed that in Jesus Christ;

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion