“My brothers, practice the faith of our Lord Yeshua, the glorious Messiah, without showing favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your Synagogue wearing gold rings and fancy clothes and also, a poor man comes in dressed in rags. If you show more respect to the man wearing fancy clothes and say to him, ‘Have this good seat here,’ while to the poor man you say ‘You, stand over there,’ or ‘sit down on the floor by my feet,’ then aren’t you creating distinctions among yourselves, and haven’t you made yourselves into judges with evil motives?
If you truly attain the goal of Kingdom Torah, in conformity with the passage that says, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well. But if you show favoritism, your actions constitute sin…what good is it…if someone claims to have faith but has no actions to prove it…” (James 2:1-14, Complete Jewish Bible/CJB)
My daughter, Sharee, and her husband gave me a Complete Jewish Bible on Mother’s Day 2000. Today, I was led to read this same scripture in seven Bibles. Translations from Hebrew and Greek into English (etc.) often give a more clear understanding of His meaning.
God wants to restore us to right relationships with himself. Restoration (of us to God, of our nation to Him, of the world’s cultures and religions) requires recovery from one-sided views. We can’t show favoritism only to our point of view!
When we discriminate in social or financial status, the Recovery Devotional Bible, James 2:9 says, “If you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.” That is because judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgement.
Every single life matters to God! Each one is created in God’s image. Read Matthew 22:15-22 (NRSV). “…You teach the way of God in accordance with truth, show deference to no one; for You do not regard people with partiality… give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s and to God the things that are God’s.”
We have a responsibility to love our neighbor and help care for them and their well being. Every contact, every interaction is an opportunity to glorify our Creator and make God’s love real! How will we share and carry the image of God in our lives? Can we rest in Him and His word?
Pandemic times have shown Garry and me the need to rest in Him. We made a change and are enjoying keeping the Sabbath Holy. On the Sabbath, we do not follow worldly habits and ways of work, work, work! Look up Sabbath in a concordance where many scriptures describe it and consider what God wants from you when keeping the day holy.
That full day is one of no cooking, yard mowing, laundry, rushing, rushing, rushing to do car maintenance, be on electronic devices, computers, cell phones… For us, Sabbath is God and family day – a day of rest in Him! Resting in Him is a necessary part of what restores us to Him. Take a deep breath. Exhale s l o w l y… Rest… and know that God is with you.