This past year our Pastor has been teaching through the book of James and I have spent a chunk of personal Bible time in this epistle.
Today let’s look at Jesus in the book of James.
Though James talks about the Christian more than it talks directly about Jesus, there are two names of Christ that we find in James and they gives us a bold picture of who He is and His dramatic contrast to sin!
LORD OF GLORY
This is the first descriptive name we see of Christ, chapter two verse one.
“My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.”
Jesus Christ, in His essence IS glory! The audience that James was writing to knew about the glory of God! In the Old Testament the Shekinah Glory in the tabernacle and temple was the very presence of God Himself! In this verse, James says that Jesus Christ IS the Lord of Glory, an undeniable truth that Jesus IS God.
Though He is God, Jesus Christ humbled Himself and died for the sins of the WORLD; old, young, rich poor, dark, light, male, female. He shows no partiality in His offer of salvation!
The application which James is drawing here in chapter two is that a believer, one who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ ought not to show partiality. Favoritism is NOT glorious. Partiality is NOT in line with the character of Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory, the One who saved us from our sin. Romans 2:11 says “God shows no partiality”.
James drives his point hard in verse 5, “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” God has chosen to give great faith even to the poor of this world.
In his first letter to the Corinthian Church, Paul the Apostle writes,
“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)
God’s ways are not our ways and in His sovereignty has saved the weak, unlovely, and in our eyes, unusable.
Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world! We wore the “vile raiment” of sin, we should have been given less than the “lowest stool”, we should have been given HELL! Instead, the Lord of Glory gave us salvation!
Partiality is not in harmony with our identity as children of the Glorious God.
I’ll be honest, I can look back and see how I have shown partiality, sometimes not even meaning to. Showing favor to another lady or mom who I know better, or I click with, or am just more comfortable with. In my life, partiality is often driven by fear. Fearing what another woman might think of me or my kids. Fear of what other lady’s life story might look like and not knowing how to relate. This name of Christ convicts me and challenges me to step out of my comfort zone and reach out to others who are different, yet are loved by God just as He loves me!
THE CHALLENGE! When we are tempted to judge and show favoritism let’s remember who we were apart from Christ. Remember how unlovely our sin was and is. Remember that favoritism does not reflect the Lord of glory who died in our place. Revel in God’s grace and in turn reach out to those around us!
Longing to be more like Christ,