Summary: The house is almost full because there are three ways to fill up a Baptist Church.
THE MAYOR AND THE TRAMP
James 2:1 -- 13
It’s homecoming Sunday morning. The service is about to begin. The house is almost full because there are three ways to fill up a Baptist Church. A fight, a feast and a funeral. Today is feast day. At the door, two men arrive for the service. One of those men is dressed quite well to and it is obvious he has influence and prestige. He is the mayor of the city. He has his staff with him and most all the people know him. They are so pleased that the mayor is there on homecoming Sunday.
At the same door there is another man. He’s a Tramp. He isn’t dressed to well and it is obvious he is in need of a bath. The mayor and the Tramp are at the door of the church. What are would going to do?
You know what? James lived a long time ago but I just believe God let him look into the ’90s. James is bringing up a subject we will have to deal with in our own hearts this evening. It’s like James is saying I’m going to be preaching a message this evening and the title is respect of persons.
In verse 1 he DECLARES HIS SUBJECT. The respect of persons. He is talking about making a difference between people on the bases of outward appearances. If they are rich, they receive one kind of treatment and if not they receive a different kind of treatment. James must have had all the people who turn to Proverbs 28:21, and read to have respect of persons is not good. So, James declares his subject and says don’t have favoritism. Don’t be snobbish.
Let me to give you one good reason not to have favoritism. Favoritism takes the approach that some people are not worth much. All people are due consideration. There is nobody who does not count. James says Jesus didn’t play favoritism.
So, first of all James declares his subject. He says it is wrong to show favoritism.
Now in verses 2 -- 4, I want you to notice what else James does. He DETAILS A STORY. James is so much like his half brother Jesus. Jesus could really tell a story. James can really tell a story. He says Mr. Gold Finger shows up for the service. He has a gem on every joint. A nugget on every knuckle. He has the latest style suit on. Mr. Gold Finger has showed up for the services. What an honor.
Then James says in walks a poor man with shabby clothes. It is obvious that this guy isn’t worth a lot of money. He shows up the time Mr. Gold Finger shows. Some would say what a day for Mr. Gold Finger to come to day when we have the likes of this poor man here.
The usher gets Mr. Gold Finger right down to the front and gives him the best seat. Then comes back to the door and says to the Tramp, we are pretty full today. Why don’t you just stand against the back wall or if you get tired, you can set at my feet. There they are. Which one will get people more excited?
Now listen! The theme for the year here at Mount Lebanon is to love one another as Jesus loves us. By doing this we don’t have to worry about church clicks. Now if clicks is an interest of yours then you are in the wrong church. They do have churches more of your interest around the area. We can’t love one another as Jesus loves us and have little certain clicks.
Now first of all James declares a subject, then he details a story, last of all he DELIVERS A SERMON. The word harken there in verse 5 means listen up. And in his sermon, like any good sermon, James made it personal to all that attended. He just pops off three quick questions.
We want to be just as kind to Keith as we are poor people. But, he says isn’t it generally the rich that give you such a hard time? He says there seems to be somewhat of a contradiction here.
Let’s sum it up. You believe the Bible to be the Word of God right? Then look in verse 9. We don’t want to intentionally commit sin. But, from now on, if you have favoritism for one brother or sister over another, you sin. To him that knows to do good and does it not, to him it is sin.
Love one another as I have loved you and by this shall all men know you are my disciples.