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James 2:1-13 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Love All People

My dear brothers and sisters, you are believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. So don’t treat some people better than others. Suppose someone comes into your meeting wearing very nice clothes and a gold ring. At the same time a poor person comes in wearing old, dirty clothes. You show special attention to the person wearing nice clothes. You say, “Sit here in this good seat.” But you say to the poor person, “Stand there!” or “Sit on the floor by our feet!” Doesn’t this show that you think some people are more important than others? You set yourselves up as judges—judges who make bad decisions.

Listen, my dear brothers and sisters. God chose the poor people in the world to be rich in faith. He chose them to receive the kingdom God promised to those who love him. But you show no respect to those who are poor. And you know that the rich are the ones who always try to control your lives. And they are the ones who take you to court. And the rich are the ones who insult the wonderful name of Christ, the name by which you are known.

One law rules over all other laws. This royal law is found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor[a] the same as you love yourself.”[b] If you obey this law, you are doing right. But if you are treating one person as more important than another, you are sinning. You are guilty of breaking God’s law.

10 You might follow all of God’s law. But if you fail to obey only one command, you are guilty of breaking all the commands in that law. 11 God said, “Don’t commit adultery.”[c] The same God also said, “Don’t kill.”[d] So if you don’t commit adultery, but you kill someone, you are guilty of breaking all of God’s law.

12 You will be judged by the law that makes people free. You should remember this in everything you say and do. 13 Yes, you must show mercy to others. If you do not show mercy, then God will not show mercy to you when he judges you. But the one who shows mercy can stand without fear before the Judge.

Footnotes:

  1. James 2:8 your neighbor Or “others.” Jesus’ teaching in Lk. 10:25-37 makes clear that this includes anyone in need.
  2. James 2:8 Quote from Lev. 19:18.
  3. James 2:11 Quote from Ex. 20:14; Deut. 5:18.
  4. James 2:11 Quote from Ex. 20:13; Deut. 5:17.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

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