Pastor Rick described a radical change in social order that came about as a result of the gospel. People of all ranks or levels of society were of equal value in the kingdom of God that Jesus announced. Masters and slaves worshiped together, sitting together, and eating together. Together, let’s take a closer look at how favoritism sneaks into our lives.
When you were school-aged, with what groups did you feel most comfortable? Did you experience being de-valued or considered “less than”? Describe that situation.
Take a few moments and reflect on this aspect of your life. Under what circumstances are you tempted to show favoritism? Describe an example.
Read together the words of Jesus in Matthew 4.46-47. The larger context of these verses is about loving our enemies. But, His words challenge us in terms of how we select the type of person that “matters” to us. When you examine your friendships, are most or maybe even all of them of similar social and economic level as you?
If you were to broaden the scope of your friendships, what’s a practical step you could take?
While believers are not to show favoritism, does not God seem partial to widows, orphans, the poor and oppressed? Why or why not?
Speaking of our church, what kind of people (hippies, hipsters, yuppies, elderly, divorced, uneducated blue-collar workers) tend not to be “our kind of folk”? What would James have to say about that situation?