Introduction — A note from Jesus’ brother.
gospelthread: Especially for the Jewish diaspora—those who had been scattered outside the enclave of Israel—Jews protected their cultural identity primarily through dietary and cleanliness barriers: don’t eat, don’t enter, don’t touch. Jews who became Christians were challenged by the gospel because it pushed against these very barriers and called for profound changes in how they worshipped and expressed their faith in God.
James 5:1-6 — Your money is no good here.
gospelthread: James is saying the system you have relied on to retain value is bankrupt, and a new value system appears in the cross and grace of Jesus. Jesus was rich in every way and became poor so that we could find our wealth in him.
James 5:2-3 — No different than Betty.
Charles Spurgeon: “How (the gospel) humbles a man! There is a gentleman who says, ‘Well, if it had been a thousand (dollars) that would have saved me, I would have thought nothing of it.’ But your gold and silver is cankered; it is good for nothing. ‘Then, am I to be saved just the same as my servant Betty?’ Yes, just the same; there is no other way of salvation for you.”