Insight to the Word

When James accuses believers who show favoritism of being “judges with evil thoughts” (2:4), he’s likely alluding to the common tendency for courts to favor the rich. Judges were of higher social status and often didn’t hold persons of lower economic class in high esteem. Legal preference for the rich was even often written into the laws. Biblical law condemned such preferential treatment (Leviticus 19:15), however, and even Greek philosophers called out bias against the poor as immoral. But James pointed to the common tendency of people to instinctively show favoritism toward persons of elevated social status, perhaps out of a desire to benefit from their wealth. He suggested that trying to curry favor with the wealthy and powerful makes people no better than blatantly biased judges. Instead, he called believers to align with God’s high regard for society’s poor and marginalized (James 2:5).

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

%d bloggers like this: