Pastor's Sunday School Blog
Sunday School Lesson
“Toward Mercy and Impartiality”
March 17, 2018
Pastor’s Notes (Some additional thoughts for your Sunday school lesson):
This passage is often read over with little personal consideration of the truth as it applies personally and collectively as a church. The truth, while we might like to ignore the reality, is that we often judge others by their social and financial standing, the way they dress, the color of their hair, -OR- how they would benefit OUR church.
Who are you most likely to invite to, or back to the church? Someone who is most like you? Someone of stature? Someone who would be a “blessing to the church?”
Did we have visitors Sunday? Did you let them know how glad you were that they were present? Did you invite them back?
During our fellowship did you sit where you normally sit … with those you are most comfortable with, or did you seek out those who seemingly were alone, isolated from others?
Driving the church van I often pick up children who come from very, very, very poor situations. They often are not clean, or dressed very well, or very well behaved. I wonder, and I have, how Jesus would respond to these children?
I thank God that He doesn’t look on the “outward appearance … but at the heart.”
Jesus, who often hung out with the undesirables in His day, is our example for how we treat others. He wasn’t looking for what He could gain from people, but rather what He could give.
Instead of looking for how someone might benefit us, let’s look for how we might be a blessing to them.
Ascribe the greater glory to Jesus Christ (James 2:1-4).
Christianity is often confused with being good, when it is more about doing good. People need to see Jesus through our actions. The more they see Jesus in us and through us the more He receives the glory and praise.
When we avoid showing favoritism or partiality we are demonstrating God’s amazing grace and the love of the Lord Jesus.
TRUTH – When Jesus is reigning over our lives, we will not show prejudice or favoritism. Everything we have learn from the teachings and example of Christ stands in opposition to partiality and discrimination. Remember the “fruit of the Spirit” is “love.”
The unasked question flowing from James’ illustration is “why would you treat people in this way if not for personal recognition and reward?”
What are some factors that might cause the believer to treat people differently? Race, economic status, political views, social stigmas, family background….
Remember – “There is no respect of persons with God” (Romans 2:11).
We should look at others in the same way God saw us. God was not looking at what we were; He was looking at what we could be as the result of His mercy and grace.
Acknowledge the upside-down of God’s Kingdom (James 2:5-7).
Background … Christianity was appealing to the poor and needy, because they were poor and needy. The affluent had a difficult time seeing the “need” in their lives, and therefore, were less prone to place their faith in Christ.
God used the discarded, distressed, discouraged, dirty, deprived … to display His marvelous grace.
Why should we neglect those God chose?
The greatest witness of God’s grace are those who have nothing to offer and depend on the gift of God.
Act in a manner consistent with our future (James 2:8-13).
Favoritism is SIN because it fails to properly reflect the character of God.
Treat others the way God has treated or treats you.
Don’t try to excuse or overlook your prejudice by presenting what you do right.
Thank God that He has tempered our judgment with mercy; instead of the wrath of God (which we deserved) we have received God’s pardon, and have been adopted into His family.
WE show mercy because we received mercy.
Remember – When we get to heaven, not everyone there will be like you, in fact, some of the people there, if not most, will be those who made you uncomfortable on earth.
Theological Theme: Our actions and attitudes are guided by the mercy and grace of God.
Christological/Christ Connection: The way we show our faith in Christ is by loving others as Christ loves them.
Missional Application: Show mercy to others, even as God has been merciful to you.