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Easy to understand commentary on James chapter two
By John Chopores
INTRODUCTION TO JAMES CHAPTER 2
Outline of the chapter:
toward the rich; and disrespect for the poor. (vs. 1-13).
Jas 2:1 ¶ My brethren, you must not make distinctions between one man and another while you are striving to maintain faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our glory. [WNT]
To show favoritism goes against the Old Testament Law. Cf. Le 19:15 'You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.
Also, take the example of Jesus Christ Himself. Cf. Mt 22:16 And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men.
As well as the teachings that are in of the rest of New Testament. Cf. 1Ti 5:21 I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality.
2 For suppose a man comes into one of your meetings wearing gold rings and fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man wearing shabby clothes, [WNT]
Some seem to think, “the clothes make the man”: but that is wrong; it is the Spirit, which makes the man. Cf. Mt 11:8 "But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
Isa 64:6 ¶ But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.
Zec 3:3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel.
4 Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, "Take away the filthy garments from him." And to him He said, "See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes."
Isa 61:1 ¶ The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; [KJV].
3 and you pay court to the one who wears the fine clothes, and say, "Sit here; this is a good place;" while to the poor man you say, "Stand there, or sit on the floor at my feet;" [WNT]
How unlike Christ, this kind of action is! Cf. 2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
Luke 23:11 Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate.
4 is it not plain that in your hearts you have little faith, seeing that you have become judges full of wrong thoughts? [WNT]
God the Father does not judge this way. Cf. Job 34:19 Yet He is not partial to princes, Nor does He regard the rich more than the poor; For they are all the work of His hands.
We are to judge the way that God does! Cf. Joh 7:24 "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."
5 Listen, my dearly-loved brethren. Has not God chosen those whom the world regards as poor to be rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom which He has promised to those that love Him? [WNT]
God is fair to all. Cf. Job 34:19 Yet He is not partial to princes, Nor does He regard the rich more than the poor; For they are all the work of His hands.
It is His will; that us humans be the same way. Mt 7:1 ¶ "Judge not, that you may not be judged;
2 for your own judgement will be dealt--and your own measure meted--to yourselves.
3 And why do you look at the splinter in your brother's eye, and not notice the beam which is in your own eye?
4 Or how say to your brother, `Allow me to take the splinter out of your eye,' while the beam is in your own eye?
5 Hypocrite, first take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly how to remove the splinter from your brother's eye.
God gives freely to all; including the poor! Cf. Mt 11:5 "blind eyes receive sight, and cripples walk; lepers are cleansed, and deaf ears hear; the dead are raised to life, and the poor have the Good News proclaimed to them;
6 But *you* have put dishonour upon the poor man. Yet is it not the rich who grind you down? Are not they the very people who drag you into the Law courts? --[WNT]
It is clear; that the Lord does not sell the best seats in His house! Cf. Ac 13:50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region.
1Co 11:22 Why, have you no homes in which to eat and drink? Or do you wish to show your contempt for the Church of God and make those who have no homes feel ashamed? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this matter I certainly do not praise you.
How much money someone has; does not matter to God. Cf. Isa 55:1 ¶ "Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price.
For God is just and needs nothing from Man. Cf. De 32:4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.
Ps 50:10 For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills.
7 and the very people who speak evil of the noble Name by which you are called? [WNT]
King David notices this. Cf. Ps 73:7 Their eyes bulge with abundance; They have more than heart could wish.
8 They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression; They speak loftily.
9 They set their mouth against the heavens, And their tongue walks through the earth.
This will be the behavior of the Antichrist. Cf. Re 13:5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.
6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.
You may be wondering; who is this anti Christ person? It is commonly believed that the anti Christ; is an evil, ungodly, political leader; that shows up shortly before the return of Jesus Christ to the Earth. He becomes in essence; a world dictator, who due to his selfish pride and disobedience to God: calls himself God; and persecutions those who do not worship him as such! The anti Christ eventually tries to do battle with Jesus Christ: the end result being that Jesus wins and the anti Christ is bound for a thousand years. After which the anti Christ is cast into the bottomless pit: where he remains forever. If you’d like to find out more about the anti Christ: I suggest that you read: chapters thirteen, nineteen, and 20 in the book of revelation.
Jas 2:8 ¶ If, however, you are keeping the Law as supreme, in obedience to the Commandment which says <"You are to love your fellow man just as you love yourself,"> you are acting rightly.
Law done in Love; is not a hard road for us: because Jesus Christ did the hard part! Cf. Ga 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Ro 13:8 Owe nothing to any one except mutual love; for he who loves his fellow man has satisfied the demands of Law.
9 For the precepts, <"Thou shalt not commit adultery," "Thou shalt do no murder," "Thou shalt not steal," "Thou shalt not covet,"> and all other precepts, are summed up in this one command, <"Thou shalt love thy fellow man as much as thou lovest thyself.">
10 Love avoids doing any wrong to one's fellow man, and is therefore complete obedience to Law.
9 But if you are making distinctions between one man and another, you are guilty of sin, and are convicted by the Law as offenders.
10 A man who has kept the Law as a whole, but has failed to keep some one command, has become guilty of violating all.
11 For He who said, <"Do not commit adultery,"> also said, <"Do not commit murder,"> and if you are a murderer, although not an adulterer, you have become an offender against the Law.
12 Speak and act as those should who are expecting to be judged by the Law of freedom.
13 For he who shows no mercy will have judgement given against him without mercy; but mercy triumphs over judgement.