We aren’t exactly sure who wrote the Letter of James. Whoever it was, it is written with a tone of assurance–which may have been the result of a dramatic shift in conviction about who Jesus is.
So, the writer looked out onto the world from a different vantage point.
The writer started looking out from the Risen Jesus. “My brothers and sisters, when you show favoritism you deny the faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has been resurrected in glory” (James 2:1). He saw relationships, social systems, neighbors, experiences–everything–from the perspective of his spiritual experience of and belief in Jesus, the Living One who defines living.
He also looked out from Jesus’ Supper Table, where honor is flipped on its head.
Jesus came to earth to gather all people at an eternal banquet. Jesus always ate with people, especially people who were never guests of honor at parties and banquets. When he ate the Last Supper, he said to his disciples, “I tell you, I won’t eat it until it is fulfilled in God’s kingdom” (Luke 22:16, CEB).
James looked out onto the world from that table; he lived with the conviction that the Table freed and compelled him to love his disadvantaged neighbors.
From what vantage point do you look out onto the world?
Listen more to the second message in our series on James:
Image: Journey with Jesus by He Qi