My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? - James 2:1-4

Recently I was flying home from vacation, and the CEO for Continental Airlines happened to be on the same plane. There was quite a buzz permeating through the boarding area as the passengers discovered that they’d be on the same plane as the CEO. Some were lining up to shake his hand; others were content to point, watch and whisper. Whenever the CEO walked by, all eyes were glued on him. I thought to myself, “I’ll bet we’ll get exceptionally friendly, top-notch service from the crew on the way home.” And sure enough, we did.

What is it about human nature that makes us trip all over ourselves for the rich and famous? Why do we think they are so important? And why are the un-rich and the un-famous perceived as unimportant?
Sinful people have an internal ranking system that is skewed. Those who can offer us something rank very high. Those who can’t offer us much rank very low. It’s easy to be nice to those who have something to give us in return. It’s tougher to be nice to those who have no earthly riches to share. God’s Word calls such thinking “being a judge with evil thoughts.”
Jesus has an internal ranking system too. His ranking system has two categories. Either a) we’re perfect or b) we’re sinful. Since we are all sinful, we are all in the same category. We all have the same rank, whether we are a CEO seated comfortably in first class or a regular Joe or Jane stuck in crowded coach class. On our own, we don’t have anything to share with Jesus that is worth one nickel. Yet Jesus loves everyone the same. He showed no favoritism; he died for all and paid for the sins of world with his precious blood. By faith in him as their Savior, Christians rejoice to know that Jesus has single-handedly pulled them out of the sinful ranks and into the perfect ranks.

Therefore, out of thanks for all that he has done to lift us up to such high status before God, we do all we can to adopt Jesus’ ranking system in our dealing with others. Whether we are next to a CEO or a drug addict, a wealthy man or a homeless orphan, God’s Word applies: “My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.”