Today’s Reading: James 2:18-3:18
A crippled boy was once hurrying to catch a train. Carrying gifts under his arm, he was struggling with his crutches. Suddenly, a man bumped into him, knocking his parcels in all directions. The man then paused and scolded the boy for getting in his way. Another gentleman, seeing the youngster’s distress, quickly picked up the scattered gifts and slipped a dollar bill into his pocket, saying, “I’m sorry! I hope this makes up for your trouble.” The child who couldn’t remember being shown such kindness, called after him, “Mister, thank you! And sir, are you Jesus?” “No,” replied the man, “but I am one of His followers.”
If our faith in Jesus was put to the test like this, which person would we be? Would we align ourselves with the kind gentleman, and say we would help the boy. Or, maybe the first man who was hurrying to catch his train. After all, maybe the boy wasn’t paying enough attention to where he was going. In today’s world, these would both pass as valid excuses for most people to simply pass the poor youngster and be on their way. However, the Lord holds Christians to a much higher standard than that. And James very boldly and directly teaches us that our faith in Christ is to be abundantly more than mere words.
As the leader of the very first church, in Jerusalem, James felt an enormous responsibility for the spiritual growth of Christ’s followers everywhere.
James is trying to refute those that have begun to abuse the doctrine of justification by faith. I’m sure the situation was similar to today. Many people were undoubtedly professing Christ one day and returning to their usual pagan ways the next with no evidence of God’s grace in their lives whatsoever!!
Albert Barnes – ” It is not enough for salvation without the benevolent and holy acts to which it would prompt, any more than the good wishes and kind words of the benevolent are enough to satisfy the wants of the hungry, and to clothe the naked, without correspondent action.”
We can’t just talk about faith in an academic way, Faith must be worked out in or action. By our first response. We must realize that genuine faith will always be manifested in good works.
Martin Luther – “Good works do not make a good man, but a good man does good works.”