The Mayor And The Tramp by Jerry Vines

James 2:1-13
Jerry Vines

It’s Easter Sunday morning. The service is just about ready to begin. The house
is packed. There is hardly a seat left. At the door two men arrive for the service. One of
those men is dressed quite well and it’s obvious that he is a man of considerable influence
and prestige. He is the mayor of the city. He has his staff with him. People recognize
him and know that he is the mayor. They are rather thrilled at the prospect that the mayor
has come to be with them for the Easter Sunday morning service.
At the same time, appearing at the same door, there is another man. He’s a tramp.
He’s dressed in shabby clothing. If you get too close to him you can tell that it’s been
awhile since he had a bath. He’s rather smelly. The mayor and the tramp—they are at
the door of the church. What’s going to happen?
Now, we believe that a church is a place where everybody is somebody and Jesus
Christ is Lord. Is it true? We believe that all people are alike in the presence of God.
God loves all people equally and that in the Lord Jesus Christ all people have been made
one. Do we really believe it?
Keep in mind that James was a preacher before he was a writer. What we are
reading here, in some ways, could be described as some of James’ sermon notes. As you
move through the book of James you will notice that he goes from subject to subject and
at times it appears as if these subjects are disconnected and have no relationship. A
closer study, of course, reveals that there are relationships in connection between the
subjects that he gives. But he seems to be moving from subject to subject and he turns
some corners and brings us to some unexpected places and there are some sudden
surprises in what James has to say.
One of the Old Testament Hebrew words for preaching was a word that means
stringing beads. It’s as if James, the preacher, is stringing beads. He’s p ...

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