Meditation Commentary on James 2:13-16

 

13For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. 14What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?

 

In this day and age, when our judicial system is becoming increasingly perverted, I am reminded of what an incredible honor and blessing it is to be a child of the judge of the universe – Jesus Christ! When we look at verse 13 of James 2, we see how merciful God has been to us, as sinful humans. Before becoming a Christian, there is no way I could show mercy to anyone, yet, God, the judge demonstrated ultimate mercy in sending Jesus to take our punishment upon Himself. This verse raises questions in my own life: Am I a merciful person? Do I demonstrate Christ like love to everyone I encounter?

I believe the question in verse 14, “Can faith save him?” can be answered “yes,” according to Ephesians 2:8-9, which says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” However, I believe that it profits nothing if we do not have works or evidence of Christ in our lives. People know us by the fruit that stems from our lives, and we should, by all means, use every opportunity we have to let our light shine to those around us.

How many times do I get so caught up in, and become consumed with activities that I consider to be important in the Christian life? – Things that might not necessarily be furthering the kingdom of God? In verses 15 and 16, we find a sharp illustration on this point. We must constantly be sensitive to the Holy Spirit when people come to us with needs. It is easy for us to assume that their need is only as deep as what we can sense on our own. However, the person might have spiritual needs that far exceed those of their physical needs that we see. They could be yearning for someone to open up with them and simply talk. If we do not lay down our personal desires and lend a helping hand to those around us…it profits nothing!

 

By Zachary Childers