II JAMES 11
THE GOSPEL IS THE SAME FOR ALL
God has preserved the Bible across twenty centuries of time to give us a true picture of His nature and His will for man, the creature who James tells us was the real purpose of the whole creation. It is not surprising then, that James is so emphatic about us not respecting one person above another. Every man is a product of God’s own design and will. Therefore, as a parent loves all his children the same, so God does not make a distinction between His children.
Emphasizing this point, James uses the rich and the poor as examples of people being respecters of persons. But God sees them differently. Barclay has an interesting quote on this subject. He says, “The gospel offered so much to the poor and demanded so much from the rich that the poor were swept into the church”. This is why James says that the poor should rejoice in their poverty.
This principle also applies to the wise and the simple. The Bible was not written for scholars to dissect and interpret. It was written for the simplest and the most humble to read and hear the message of God’s love and mercy clearly enunciated. No field of knowledge has spawned so much division as the field of theology. This is because men insist on explaining the unexplainable infinity of God, and making up rules or imposing interpretations He never intended, instead of simply having faith in Him and hearing His simple message of truth. This is why the Apostle Paul said he determined to know nothing save Jesus Christ and Him crucified. When you read the Bible, read it as a personal message from the Father to you. Apply it to your life, and to whatever situation you find yourself in. You do not need to know all the possible nuances of the original languages, or have an erudite understanding of the history of the times. God did not preserve it for us to have a history, but for us to have a message from the King which we can believe and which can enrich our lives and give us hope.
Rich or poor, wise or simple, the Gospel is the same for all. You do not have to be smart to profit from a study of the Book. A life of faith, and striving to do His will is all He expects from any of us. Remember, when you are tempted to pass judgement on others: (1) God alone knows all the facts and, (2) “He does not expect the impossible of anyone”. What a comfort that is for us stumbling, mistake-making, fallible creatures.
Keeping these things in mind will make it easier for us to obey the “royal law”, i.e, “Love your neighbor as yourself”.