19th April

Week 5 Study

during the Coronavirus pandemic

Prayer of Praise

Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name


Favouritism forbidden
My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favouritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, ‘Here’s a good seat for you,’ but say to the poor man, ‘You stand there’ or ‘Sit on the floor by my feet,’ 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

5 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? 6 But you have dishonoured the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?

8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself,’ you are doing right. 9 But if you show favouritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as law-breakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘You shall not murder.’ If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a law-breaker.

12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicised, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Shared Study

  1. In James 2:1-5 James tells off some of the Jewish-Christians for treating rich people as more important than the poor. What might be a modern day equivalent of his examples? Do we ever do this?

  2. In James 2:5-7 he points out that it is the rich people who are persecuting the churches and getting them in trouble, but God in fact, has a special heart for the poor. Verse 5 reminds us of the beatitudes again (Matt 5), which turn worldly ways on their head.

    Why do you think people so often treat the rich people as important? Why do you think God might see it the other way around?

  3. James 2:8-13 reminds us that to show favouritism is to break the law of God and even if we break it only once, we need Jesus’ mercy and forgiveness to be right before God. Fortunately if we accept Jesus’ death on the cross we can always be assured of this. But James’ point is – if God refrains from judging you, on account of Jesus, you refrain from judging others and show mercy.

    Mercy triumphs over judgment’.  Who might you need to stop judging and instead show mercy to? Who might God consider important that maybe you don’t always?


Our Lord Jesus Christ, we pray for those who are marginalised in our society. We pray for people in poverty. We pray for refugees. We pray for the mentally ill. For those living lives of crime. For those caught in drug abuse. For all those who are tossed aside, discarded, unwanted. For all those who’s voices are not heard.

We pray for those we are angry with, or those we simply don’t notice. For those we don’t treat with as much care and respect as others. Lord forgive us. Give us eyes and a heart to see people the way you do.



Offer to God your own:

  • TSP (teaspoon prayers!) for yourself - Thank you, Sorry, Please

Prayers for other people


Bless one another as you finish – for example ‘I bless you now, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirt.


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