James has been addressing a problem in churches where the rich are honoured, but the poor are ostracized…
But you have dishonoured the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? (James 2:6)
James is not saying it is wrong to be rich. He is saying we should not show favouritism to the rich.
In the early Church, it seems like much of their trouble was coming from the “upper class.” Some in the upper class exploited Christians (v. 6), took them to court (v. 6), and even slandered the name of Christ (v. 7). And yet, they were the very people that the Church was honouring!
Meanwhile, some church people were showing contempt for those in the “lower class.” They were certainly not following the example of Jesus.
Jesus grew up in a humble home. He was raised in a town that people made fun of. He seems to have spent most of His time around the poor, the sick, and the known sinners. In other words, He felt right at home with the outcasts of society – the misfits. The people no one else favoured were the people Jesus loved to be around. He was not impressed with riches or with social status.
Let us be like Jesus, feeling at home with the misfits of society, because as Christians in this pagan culture, we are misfits, too!
I love the old Christmas TV special, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. In that cartoon, there was an island where toys went that were unwanted. Each one had some defect that made it unacceptable for the marketplace. But Santa was able to find homes where the misfit toys would be loved and appreciated.
As a Christian, if you feel like a misfit in this world, then praise the Lord! You should feel that way, because you don’t fit in with the world. Your Biblical standards and Christian values are not wanted by this pagan world. That is one reason why your church family is so vital. We all need a church home where we can gather with our fellow misfits and encourage one another. At church we know that we belong to a family. At church we are loved and appreciated. At church we become useful again in the service of our Lord, to His honour and glory!
Today’s Good News is that you don’t need to “fit in” with this world. Come to Jesus, and find a welcoming home in His Church.
Now, go share the Good News…
FAITH in ACTION!
If you are joining us part way through this Journey in James, you can access the devotionals you missed in the archives. (The series started on June 1.)
If this is your first visit to this website, please read the “Featured Post” from March 1, 2018.