Timothy as a church leader is being admonished by Paul that in his interaction with the people and operation of the church, all should be done without favoritism. There should not be double standard.
James wrote that we should not hold the faith of our lord Jesus with respect of persons, with partiality (James 2:1-4). James said that makes us judges with evil thoughts, evil motives. He was addressing issue of partiality based on physical appearances or wealth, in the church. All partiality expressed is a sign of failure in understanding how the love of God does not discriminate, and embracing life from his viewpoint.
The focus verse shows that partiality is a spirit; we are enjoined to not allow that spirit to influence our perception. We need to be open to God to correct our perception from time to time, from the influence of the spirit of partiality. When we operate by the law of love, taking the other person as more important than us, we would be free from partiality. When our motivation is not about monetary gain, we will be free of partiality.
Paul wrote that everyman seeks his own things and not the things of the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:21). When we seek our own, we will be partial; “our own” is about the lusts of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life (1John 2:15-17). Dealing with these aspects of worldly tendencies in us will help us on the path of eschewing partiality.
When it comes to giving we should not exhibit partiality. The bible says that we should give to anyone who asks of us (Matthew 5:42-48). We should not weigh our giving action whether the recipients are worthy of it, have worked for it, have given to us in time past, whether there is something the person can (or you want him to) give you tomorrow; whether a “thank you” will be offered or was offered or not; whether the person was nice to you or not; or will be in a position to help you. You should be like God, who allows the rain to fall both on the wicked and the righteous.
Beyond that, Christians should specially value one another. Each Christian is of equal value because each has been purchased by the blood of Jesus. Paul said that we should submit to one another (1Peter 5:5). We should realise that there is something we can learn from another Christian. They are valuable to us, since we are members of one another, part of each other (Romans 12:5).
We should not judge each other based on race, based on language. Such lines that divide us are supposed to be removed in Christ Jesus. One of most common divisions seen in the bible is the division between Jews and gentiles. But Paul wrote to the Ephesian Church that we are one in Christ, with one baptism in one Spirit, one God and father of our lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:1-6).
Churches need to do more to be more racially inclusive, reaching out to various components of the community in which they exists. We should recognise and understand our differences, even cultural differences. But rather than those things to divide us, it should add richness to our association. We should be ready to learn from others across racial divide.
The disciples once discriminated against children. They wanted to draw to him, but the disciples stopped them. They might have though: we are into more serious things than little children affairs.
Jesus rebuked them saying, let the children come to me because theirs is the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:14). In another place he told the people that except they are converted and become like children (Mark 10:13-16, Luke 18:15-17), they shall by no means enter in the kingdom. He was making them realise that there are things that children can teach them that are relevant in engaging with the kingdom of God.
There was a time a blind man was calling out to Jesus and the disciples said that he should shut up (Mark 10:46-52), that he constituted a public nuisance. They’ll rather have Jesus to themselves, thinking they are worthy of him “than this pitiful blind man.” But Jesus turned to the man and healed his eyes, rewarding his persistence. He paid attention to him, have him what he wanted, changing his life.
When it comes to blessing, Jesus is not discriminatory. A gentile woman called out to Jesus concerning her daughter who was possessed of a devil (Matthew 15:22-28). Jesus at first did not give her attention. And the disciples wanted Jesus to do more; they wanted him to shut her up so that she would not disturb them.
Eventually Jesus rewarded the persistence of the woman, helping her daughter get free of torments. Before then, he told her that he has not been sent to people like her with healing. But the faith of the woman overruled that. This shows that on the basis of faith no one is rejected by God. Faith is the ultimate leveler, our common platform.
At a time, a woman caught in the very act of adultery was brought to Jesus (John 8:1-11). But he told the people who brought her that the person who has no sin should throw the first stone, to which they all left the place, not throwing a single stone. The only word he had for the woman was: go and sin no more. The power of forgiveness changed the life of the woman forever, his mercy overlooks wrongs. The present sinful state of the woman did not disqualify her from the saving grace of Jesus. Jesus actually saved her from being hit by the stones and dying in her sin. She was brought to Jesus in her sinful state, but instead of judgment, she was saved, from imminent death.
There was a time Jesus was in the house of a Pharisee, and a woman used her hair to wash the feet of Jesus (Luke 7:37-50). There were grumblings that if Jesus were a true prophet he should have known that that woman was a sinner. She was not in any act of sin, but she obviously had a reputation in that environment as a sinner.
But Jesus knowing their thought received the woman and rewarded her, saying whenever the gospel of the kingdom is preached, she would be mentioned, as I am doing now. Jesus received her, disregarding her history. It doesn’t matter how rotten you were, how messed up, how unworthy of God you feel, Jesus wants you, because he died or you (John 3:16).
- Do You Love The Sinner? (holdingforthhisword.wordpress.com)
- baptism (yeshuaelohim.com)
- Rose and Linda’s Journal Touch Not Mine Anointed (momsfirstscreenn.wordpress.com)
- Jesus Paid It All … (thelivingwordministries.wordpress.com)
- The Two Shall Be One Flesh (holdingforthhisword.wordpress.com)
- The Harvest is Plentiful – 7th Sunday after Pentecost (holytraditions.com)
- I am who I say I am (spiritministries.wordpress.com)
- Discipleship in Christ: Knowledge from Christ by His Spirit (holytraditions.com)
- God’s Call to a Missionary: The Process God Used with Me (jimkilgoreministries.wordpress.com)