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Judging a Book By Its Cover

James 2:2-4 Suppose someone comes into your meeting wearing very nice clothes and a gold ring. At the same time a poor person comes in wearing old, dirty clothes. You show special attention to the person wearing nice clothes. You say, "Sit here in this good seat." But you say to the poor person, "Stand there!" or "Sit on the floor by our feet!" Doesn't this show that you think some people are more important than others? You set yourselves up as judges –judges who make bad decisions.

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Judging a Book By Its Cover


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At my church we often have homeless people attend our service. Now the statistics are these: over ninety percent of the people who live rough on the streets in our area, either suffer from mental illness or drug addiction, or both.

A man has been attending recently and honestly, I’m not sure when the last time was that he had a bath or a shower. But let me tell you, it’s been a long time. Frankly, it’s quite difficult to sit within a few feet of him, because of the strong odour.

Now, at the same time, we’ve had a movie director attending our church as well. He’s out from Hollywood to shoot and produce a movie, that’s soon to be released on the big screen. He’s a quiet, unassuming guy. If you met him on the street, you’d never pick him for what he is.

So would it surprise you to know that the people in the church treated those two men quite differently? I’m not being judgemental, I’m simply stating fact. After all, I’m one of those people.

I wonder, which of those two men would Jesus have taken out to lunch after church?

Suppose someone comes into your meeting wearing very nice clothes and a gold ring. At the same time a poor person comes in wearing old, dirty clothes. You show special attention to the person wearing nice clothes. You say, “Sit here in this good seat.” But you say to the poor person, “Stand there!” or “Sit on the floor by our feet!” Doesn’t this show that you think some people are more important than others? You set yourselves up as judges –judges who make bad decisions. (James 2:2-4)

As hard as it is for us to live this out, the truth is that Jesus loves that smelly homeless man and the movie director, exactly the same. Well, perhaps not exactly the same. Because when He walked this earth, Jesus showed a clear preference for spending time with the poor and the marginalised.

The smelly, dirty lepers with their pus-filled sores. The prostitutes and the tax collectors whom people scorned. He hung out with the flotsam and jetsam of society. That’s who Jesus is. That’s who God is.

So let me ask you again, which of those two men would Jesus have taken out to lunch after church?

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.


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