You’ve heard the old adage: “Don’t judge a book by its cover” and yet many, even Christians sometimes, judge people by how they look on the outside. This is wrong. Jesus, who professed believers say they follow and model their behavior after, said the following —-
Jas 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
Jas 2:2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
Jas 2:3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
Jas 2:4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
Jas 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
Jas 2:6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
Jas 2:7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
Jas 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
Jas 2:9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
This teaching came to my mind after being in church where a man came in who definitely looked out of place. I suspected that he might be homeless. After the service ended I saw the man standing outside the building but near the door, waiting perhaps for someone to come out and talk to him. Seems like God chose me this chilly morning to do just that, and I was very glad that he did. The man, dressed in somewhat shabby clothing turned out to be well educated and a delight to talk with. He had a good amount of knowledge of the Bible and spiritual realities; I could tell that he often heard God speak to him. I knew from what he shared with me that he had a personal relationship with God and might be one of the most spiritual men I have ever encountered. Our conversation was lively and blessed since most of what we discussed was all about Jesus and what He had done and was doing in our lives. Jesus said, Mat 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Jesus was certainly in our midst as we spoke of Him. This is what true, spiritual fellowship is all about. What this brother and I did was share Christ with each other which is communion as mentioned in 2Co 13:14, The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
When Jesus broke bread at the last supper with his disciples, He used bread as a metaphor for his body that was soon to be ‘broken’ and sacrificed for them. Jesus said, For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:55, 56 & 63) Jesus wasn’t telling His disciples to literally eat His flesh and drink His blood. He was telling them that His body was going to be broken for their physical and spiritual healing and that his blood was going to be shed as atonement for their sins. Joh 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever…
We eat physical bread to sustain our bodies and spiritual bread to sustain our souls.
We feed upon Christ not by eating physical bread but by eating His words and communing with His Spirit in us.
Communion is sharing Christ (what he has taught us and done in us) with other believers, through His Holy Spirit in us.
If we judge people by their outward appearance we may miss out on meeting someone who has spiritual riches to share with us!
If I had judged the rather ragged looking man by his outward appearance, I probably wouldn’t have stopped to talk to him and would have missed out on a blessing. Though poor in this world’s goods, the man was rich in the knowledge of God’s Word and ways. I could tell he spends time in God’s presence and hears from Him and is a man who KNOWS God, not someone who’s only heard about Him – Job 42:5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
It’s far more important to be rich in spiritual things than to be rich in this world’s goods.
Luk 6:20 And he (Jesus) lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
Luk 6:21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. (in the kingdom of God)
Luk 6:24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
Luk 6:25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
Therefore, I would rather be rich in spiritual things and be poor in this world’s goods, than be rich in this world’s goods and be poor in spiritual things. It’s a blessing to know the difference and to know what’s most important in life.
– Disciple of Christ –