Responsibility of Those Called

International Sunday School Lesson February 19 2023 Winter #12

James 2:1-12 ESV  My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.  (2)  For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,  (3)  and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,”  (4)  have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?  (5)  Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?  (6)  But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court?  (7)  Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?  (8)  If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.  (9)  But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.  (10)  For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.  (11)  For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.  (12)  So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.

James 2:1-12 ESV



  • Adam Clarke It is supposed that these were children of Joseph, by a former marriage; this is a very ancient opinion; as there is nothing improbable in the supposition that Joseph was a widower when he married the blessed virgin.
  • They are supposed to have been children of Joseph and his wife Mary; all born after the birth of our Lord. This is an opinion extremely probable: see some reasons for it in the note on Mat 13:55 (note); see also on Mat 1:25 (note).
  • That they were called our Lord’s brethren, because children of Joseph by the wife of one of his brothers, who had died childless, and whose widow Joseph took, according to the Mosaic law, to raise up seed to his deceased brother. This is very unlikely, because, in this case, it would have been only requisite for Joseph to have had one male by his brother’s wife; but here we find four, besides several sisters.
  • That Cleophas, called also Alpheus, married a sister of the blessed virgin, called also Mary, by whom he had the above issue; and that these were called brethren of our Lord, from the common custom among the Hebrews, to term all the more immediately cognate branches of the same family, brothers’ and sisters’ children, i.e. cousins-german, brethren. These, therefore, being aunt’s children of our Lord, are, according to this usage, called his brethren. The first and second of these opinions appear to me the most probable; though most modern writers are of the latter opinion.

Partiality — James 2:1

  • Deuteronomy 1:17 (ESV) You shall not be partial in judgment. You shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God’s. And the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’
  • 1 Timothy 5:21 (ESV) In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.

Rich and Poor — James 2:2-3

  • Proverbs 30:8-9 (ESV) Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, [9] lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.

Poor Judge –James 2:4

  • John 7:24 (ESV) Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

Poor but Rich — James 2:5

  • Matthew 11:3-5 (ESV) and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” [4] And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: [5] the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.

Oppress You — James 2:6-7

  • Cover up for rich and powerful
  • Remember Nathan and David

Love your Neighbor — James 2:8-9

  • Galatians 5:14-15 (ESV) For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” [15] But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Failing at One Point — James 2:10-12

  • Matthew 5:18-19 (ESV) For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. [19] Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.


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