All Sermons
No Favouritism
Bible Passage
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & books James, John, Leviticus.

No Favouritism

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached

1 My brothers, do not let your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus, the Messiah, be tainted by favoritism.

2 Suppose a man wearing gold rings and fine clothes comes into your assembly, and a poor man in dirty clothes also comes in.

3 If you give special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Please take this seat,” but you say to the poor man, “Stand over there” or “Sit on the floor at my feet,”

4 then you will have made false distinctions among yourselves and will have judged from evil motives, will you not?

5 Listen, my dear brothers! God has chosen the poor in the world to become rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who keep on loving him, has he not?

6 But you have humiliated the man who is poor. Are not rich people the ones who oppress you and drag you into court?

7 Are not they the ones who blaspheme the noble Name by which you have been called?

8 Nevertheless, you are doing the right thing if you obey the royal Law in keeping with the Scripture, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.”

9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and will be convicted by the Law as violators.

10 For whoever keeps the whole Law but fails in one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

11 For the one who said, “Never commit adultery,” also said, “Never murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you murder, you become a violator of the Law.

12 You must make it your habit to speak and act like people who are going to be judged by the law of liberty.

13 For the one who has shown no mercy will be judged without mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

The Church is expected to be a standard for the society to follow. It must have a positive influence on the society such that the whole society will soon become pure and righteous. Standards of judgement in the Church are not the same as those in the society. People ought not to be given important places in the church merely because they have important places in the society. Likewise poor people should not be ignored (verse 1-4).

Jesus ensures special love for His followers, but especially for the poor and marginalised. God welcomes people into His kingdom regardless of wealth or social position, and gives His riches to them equally. James notes how strange it is that the Christians should show special favour to the rich, because the rich are from the class that oppresses Christians most cruelly (verse 5-7). Much of the poverty in the world today is the result of the continuous corruption of the upper class and the oppression of the poor in society. The rich is becoming richer. Even access to quality education has eluded the masses because corruption.

The early Church was generally poor. The conversion of people into the Church meant even bringing in the rich who could be treated as special trophies for Christ if care is not taken. Similarly, in a Church where there were slaves and masters worshipping together, and sometimes the slaves playing leadership roles, the masters may wish to impose their home class structure and system.

In their dealings with others, the rule for Christians is ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ (verse 8). Even Christ gave a new commandment, we should love our neighbours as He Christ loves us (John 13:34). Those who show favouritism break that rule. They would, under Moses’ law (where the rule was first taught; Lev 19:18), be considered law-breakers, no matter what other good they may have done. For example, they may not commit adultery, but if they kill they are still law-breakers (verse 9-11).

God’s ‘law of liberty’ within Christians should cause them to love others. If they show no mercy to the poor, God will show no mercy when He judges them. But if in mercy they refrain from harsh judgements, God will refrain from harsh judgement of them (verse 12-13).


🔷 The Church and the society must enact laws and policies that will protect the poor and the vulnerable in the society

🔷 There should be no favouritism on the grounds of class, so as to despise and maltreat the poor

🔷 We must support and show mercy to the poor so the Father of the poor can show mercy to us also

💥 Pray for the poor and the needy
💥 Ask God to make you an instrument of fairness and justice

The poor have always played a centre stage in the ministry of Jesus Christ. Even in the Old Testament, there were laws that considered and supported the poor greatly. Be conscious of the poor and help support them always. The poor are the apple of God’s eye.

In series Bright Morning Reflections