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Comfort or Calling?

James 2:1-13| Part 8



Matthew 9:9-13

As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, “Follow me,” and he got up and followed him.
10 While he was reclining at the table in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came to eat with Jesus and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 Now when he heard this, he said, “It is not those who are well who need a doctor, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
  • Matthew was not an accountant

  • He basically had a franchise from the Roman government to collect taxes and extort people

  • Matthew was dirty

  • Jesus should not have spent time with him because he was a Rabbi. A holy man. Set apart. BETTER THAN. He chooses to call Matthew, and then hang out with him and his friends

  • Later, Matthew wrote the Gospel of Matthew

Review from last week:

  • Be QUICK to listen

  • Be SLOW to speak

  • Be SLOW to anger (Self-righteous anger accomplishes your will, not God’s will)

James 2:1-13

My brothers and sisters, do not show favoritism as you hold on to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. 2 For if someone comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and a poor person dressed in filthy clothes also comes in, 3 if you look with favor on the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Sit here in a good place,” and yet you say to the poor person, “Stand over there,” or “Sit here on the floor by my footstool,” 4 haven’t you made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
  • Don’t have favorites. Specific context: In the church

  • The difference between Rich people and poor people

  • What separates Rich and poor?

Rich People Poor People

Have money

Don’t have (a lot) of money

​Have a lot of things

Have few things

Have a lot of attention

Not much (positive) attention

Have power

Little power or say

Have physical security

Live day-to-day

  • Which one are you in the eyes of others?

  • Which one are you in the eyes of God?

  • Why would a church, or any organization for that matter, prefer the column on the left?

  • James says when we separate these two and judge them, this is evil. Demonic. Why?

  • Because it is not what Jesus does to us

John 13:34-35

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
  • Love one another

  • Why? Because I have loved and am loving you!

  • This shows people who we are

Ephesians 5:2

And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
  • This is an offering to God. It smells really good!

  • It’s sacrificial. It will cost you

5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Didn’t God choose the poor in this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? 6 Yet you have dishonored the poor. Don’t the rich oppress you and drag you into court? 7 Don’t they blaspheme the good name that was invoked over you?
  • God has chosen His people in the church, who are poor with a special blessing

  • A GREAT Faith.

  • Rich in faith, not things

8 Indeed, if you fulfill the royal law prescribed in the Scripture, Love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well. 9 If, however, you show favoritism, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
  • What is the Royal law?

  • Better translated Sovereign law

  • This means a law above other laws

Leviticus 19:18

Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.

Here is the takeaway:

  1. Love others as yourself

  2. Favoritism, especially in the church, is a sin

Signs of unbiblical sinful favoritism:

  • All of your acquaintances are just like you

  • Live like you, vote like you, think like you, act like you

  • Comfort Calling. Which word defines your lifestyle?

  • Pull out your phones. Look at your text messages. Who have you texted connected with this past week? Past month? Past year?

10 For whoever keeps the entire law, and yet stumbles at one point, is guilty of breaking it all. 11 For he who said, Do not commit adultery, also said, Do not murder. So if you do not commit adultery, but you murder, you are a lawbreaker.
  • James is trying to explain that anything contrary to the law makes you a lawbreaker

  • This checks our self-righteousness, which is MOST EVIDENT when we are surrounded by people who are all like us

  • Israeli/Palestine war began, and I had a lot of concerns. One of my best friends is a Palestinian. That didn’t change my mindset, but it altered my thought process and forced me to see it through my friend's eyes.

  • This is what loving others as you love yourself does. It regulates your emotions and makes you listen more, and talk less.

12 Speak and act as those who are to be judged by the law of freedom. 13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has not shown mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
  • Live your lives knowing you are under the Law of freedom. The sovereign law

  • You will be judged according to it. Really.

  • A life of treating people with equality is a life of showing mercy. You show mercy, you receive mercy

  • Notice I didn’t say treating lifestyles with equality, or sin with equality, or injustice with equality. We have one standard, and it is God’s standard. There is no other standard.

Proverbs 19:17

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

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