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James: The Law of Love



James told us in Chapter 1 to “become doers of the word.” What does that look like? Consider Jesus.

Jesus turned the world upside down. Certainly, he turned the social world on its head! He ate with sinners and battles with the religious. One particular way in which he did this was on the night of the Last Supper. Jesus washed his disciples’ feet! He was the teacher, the master (not to mention the Son of God) and he stooped down and washed the filth and dust off his students’ feet. We must remember, people in that region walked everywhere in sandals. Roads were not paved with a few exceptions. Roads were dirty and dusty. The only other mode of transport was animal. Have you ever seen the exhaust system on a donkey? And that sort of “exhaust” would get mashed into the road and then walked on again and again. This was the stuff Jesus was washing off his disciples’ feet! This was the job for a slave. Not only a slave, but the lowest slave in the entire household! And here was Jesus, the master, going against the world’s way of doing things, washing his disciples’ feet.

Often becoming doers of the word means going against the way the world does things. Jesus, the Rabbi, washing his disciples’ feet, was going against the world’s way of doing things! True religion, in James’ words in Chapter 1, means taming our tongue, which is contrary to the world’s ways. It also means looking after the widows and orphans, the economically hopeless. This is even more contrary to the world’s ways!

James 2:1-13, our text for today, is James applying 1:19-27, the passage we examined last week. In that section last week, we saw James’ instructions to be slow to speak and slow to anger, to cast off the moral filth that is so abundant, not just to listen to the word but to become doers of the word. He used the image of the mirror and encouraged his readers not to forget what the mirror of God’s law showed them about their heart, but to keep gazing into the law and to be transformed. He said that “true religion” tames the tongue and looks after the economically hopeless.

Today’s text expands upon how to control what we say while we look after the poor.

Categories | Sermon Audio


Filetype: MP3 - Size: 42.29MB - Duration: 46:12 m (128 kbps 48000 Hz)