James 2:1 KJV
My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
Imagine if Jesus have been selective in where He applied His faith. Imagine that He was a respecter of persons instead of treating all equally. How much would the books of the New Testament have changed?.
I can see that the woman at the well in Samaria talked about in John chapter 4 would never have been approached for the gospel. The ten lepers certainly wouldn’t have been cleansed and the one who came back and thanked Him would not have been made whole. He certainly wouldn’t have done anything for blind Bartimaeus – the man was a beggar. If He was a respecter of persons would He have even submitted to John the Baptist and received His baptism in the River Jordan? After all He was the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He didn’t have to deal with these people! They were obviously beneath Him as all of us are.
He certainly would not have chosen the disciples that He had. He would have picked men that were leaders and knowledgeable instead of the riff-raff fisherman that He ended up with. He would have tried to get in with the Pharisees and the scribes because they were the elite in that day. That would have been the crowd to hang around with if you are bringing a religious message of some kind.
And if He was a respecter of persons He certainly would have treated Herod and Pilate differently. He would not have been silent before the Sanhedrin. He would have tried to appeal to Pilate instead of just making him more aggravated. Why the whole story would have changed if Jesus was a respecter of persons. Aren’t you glad that He wasn’t?
When you read the New Testament you read that Jesus healed everyone that came to Him. Sometimes we miss this. But in every circumstance where there are a multitude that come to Him and bring the sick, the maim, the lame, the blind and the possessed it says He healed them all (Matt 12:15, Matt 15:30, Luke 6:19, Luke 4:40 to give a few verses). He had no respect for their financial ability or how they looked or how they walked, what color their skin was or where they were from. In Jesus eyes they were all the same. They were all sinners that needed to repent. They were all sickly and needed healing. They were all bound and needed to be freed.
He certainly would not have chosen me. A drunkard and a drug addict who didn’t have time for God and walked away from every chance he got would never make a good disciple, would he? And yet He reached out to me and decided to call me and He gave me gifts and He gave me passion and He gave me the fruit of the spirit and He gave me so many other things. He also gives many of those same things to you. All things are available to you because He is not a respecter of persons people.
James says here that we should not have the faith that Jesus Christ has given us and then practice it by having respect towards people. This does not mean we don’t have to respect them! In fact, the world is showing less and less respect for others, and I think it is a sad thing. Everyone deserves our respect, our admiration. We should hold others in highest regard according to Philippians 2:3-4. That is not the same word as James uses in verse 1
The word respect in James 2:1 means to show partiality. We should treat everybody the same. We will be going into this in more detail as we go along. But I want you to know that if Jesus had respect for people He probably would not choose any of us. He was merciful to us all because He loves us all the same. And that is the way we should love those around us. No exceptions.