My brothers and sisters, show no partiality
as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.
For if a man with gold rings and fine clothes
comes into your assembly,
and a poor person with shabby clothes also comes in,
and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes
and say, “Sit here, please,”
while you say to the poor one, “Stand there,” or “Sit at my feet,”
have you not made distinctions among yourselves
and become judges with evil designs? (Jas 2:1-4)
From the time we are very young, we begin to judge by appearances. We shy away from people who do not dress as we do. We look down upon those who do not have what we have. If others have more, we become jealous and want what they have. If they have less, we disdain them. In short, we use ourselves as the standard by which we judge.
Throughout His ministry, Jesus did not judge by differences. He allowed everybody to come to Him: the poor as well as the rich, the sick as well as the healthy, the leper as well as the whole person. Jesus did not care what state a person was in, He cared about the person.
This ruffled the feathers of many of His followers. For, after all, they were used to being judged by the Romans and other enemies throughout the ages. Because of that, they were used to judging others as well. They kept many people away, just as they tried to keep people away from Jesus.
But, the more that the disciples attempted to keep people away, the more Jesus called those people to Himself and challenged His disciples to include all people as well.
We may not like it when the Lord reminds us that we have to include all people. We may not like thinking about the fact that we have to embrace our enemies as well as our friends. We may not like including the weak, the poor, the powerless, the wretches of our society.
However, if we do not do so, we judge ourselves as well.
For, after all, we are weak. We are powerless. We are wretches in many ways. If we judge harshly, we shall be judged by those same standards and we will find ourselves on the fringes, cast out.
Jesus included all people.
It is time that we do the same.
FAITH ACTION: Have you worked hard to keep someone excluded from you? Maybe it is someone at work, someone in the neighborhood, or, even, someone in your own family. You know what you need to do.