Mercy triumphs over judgement (but without judgement, we don’t fully grasp mercy)

Mercy triumphs over judgement (but without judgement, we don’t fully grasp mercy)

James 2 v. 8 – 13

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbour as yourself,” you are doing right. 
But if you show favouritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 
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 lawbreaker.
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.’

The favourtism spoken out against in the first verses of chapter two contradicts God’s law (judgement) and mercy (loving kindness).
James calls it ‘royal law’, as these are the words of King Jesus, Sovereign over all.
To break any one of God’s laws (the Ten Commandments etc.) is to be a ‘lawbreaker’ – no one of us is in any better place regarding the law, than any other.
‘We should be people whose lives reflect God’s standards. But more than this, how we show mercy to those around us reveals whether we truly know Jesus.’ (key theme in James, regarding ‘living out our faith’).

MERCY : loving those who do not deserve it, and cannot earn it – this is the gospel, good news – and it always has the last word, triumphing over judgement.

‘Lord Jesus,
let me be so captivated by Your glory
and so grateful for Your mercy
that I truly love my neighbours,
I am truly compassionate to the needy,
and I treat everyone as you treat me:
with mercy.

(Quotes are from ‘Explore By The Book’ on James : Timothy Keller and Sam Allberry)

Phil Gough