Do you ever ask rhetorical questions? Have you used questions to make a statement? Have you heard a teacher or someone you work with use questions this way? We see these methods of questioning used in today’s passage very effectively.
James knows the answer to the questions he is asking. He also knows his audience knows the answer to the questions. When we take a look at how the questions are framed, we can quickly deduct the answer nearly two thousand years later.
Are these questions still relevant today? Are the answers the same? I believe we all know they are both relevant and the same. It is obvious the answer to his first question has not changed. God has certainly chosen those who appear to be poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in their faith. Those who are poor often must rely on God to provide. They subsist from day-to-day. James is restating what Jesus said in Mark 10:25, but from the opposite point of view. Jesus stated it is difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.
How true it is the rich are who exploit us, yet we put them on pedestals. Oh, we will quickly disavow it. We will state we don’t look up to the rich. And we are wrong every time we say it. Think not? Do you look up to movie stars, TV stars, sports stars, corporate executives, or even rich relatives? You don’t? Are you telling me you don’t buy name brand clothes to imitate those people?
Folks, the kingdom of God accepts who follow Jesus unconditionally. We cannot choose to follow Him only when things are going well or reach out to Him for help only when we are desperate. We are to be a follower of His at all times, in all situations. That is the point of James’ message to his audience. We are to be fully dedicated to God, rather than following the world, to inherit His kingdom.
I pray we all have a change of heart. I pray we decide to follow Jesus completely. I pray each one of us become rich in faith. Expose your heart to Jesus. Follow Him with your whole being. Dedicate yourself to Him. Increase your faith. Trust God in all situations.
James 2:5-7 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?