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31st Week After Pentecost v Friday

  James 2:1-13   My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus
Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come
unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there
come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that
weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good
place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my
footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges
of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the
poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath
promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not
rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not
they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? If ye fulfil
the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour
as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit
sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall
keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if
thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a
transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be
judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy,
that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

  Mark 10:23-32   And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his
disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom
of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus
answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them
that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for
a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter
into the kingdom of God. And they were astonished out of measure, saying
among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them
saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all
things are possible. Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left
all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say
unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters,
or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and
the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time,
houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands,
with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. But many that
are first shall be last; and the last first. And they were in the way
going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed;
and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve,
and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,

 The Easy way. 

 The Holy Apostle James, Brother of the Lord shows us today the  easy
way to salvation. His entire and only epistle is filled with
authoritative moral admonitions, and we would do well to consider each
one carefully. Luther hated the Epistle of James, and wanted it removed
from the canon of scripture, because the Apostle's high moral standards
seemed onerous and unattainable to him, but he, like so many today,
missed the point of the Brother of the Lord. 

 James offers to us two ways: either the way of the Jewish law or the
way of the internal law. The teaching of the Jewish law was clear v
perfection was required in all things, and as the Apostle said, ?For
whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is
guilty of all.¦ This way of life is clearly impossible, and
paradoxically, those who subscribe to it are blinded to their failure
because of their adherence to  some of the more visible parts of the
law. The young ruler, whom we read about yesterday and last Sunday as
well was caught in this net of self-deceit. When the Lord reiterated to
him a  small selection  of the commandments, he replied with foolish
confidence: ?Master, all these have I observed from my youth¦ (Mark

 Let us contrast this with the Christian law, an internal law, not one
externally imposed. We follow the urgings of our heart, in which the
Spirit lives. How much more sensible this way of life is! 

 James tells us that is we have ?respect of persons¦, that is favor one
man over another, we transgress the law. Our Lord loved all, taught all,
even those whom He knew would betray Him.