Click on the arrow to hear "Oppressors & Oppressed" (13 mins), for Day 10 of our series.


  • Was Jesus a "carpenter" (Mark 6:3, Matt 13:55)? Tekton = builder. "Carpenter,” esp. in our culture, has a certain prestige. But not so much when someone tells you, “I’m in construction. I’m a manual laborer.”
  • Jesus was more likely a stonemason. Wood is not the usual building material in Palestine – stone is much more common. As a builder he would have worked with others. He also may not have been as well-off as we might think. (After all, consider how few possessions he had at the end of his life.)
  • He was not born into privilege; he had to work for a living. James wasn't wealthy, either. If anything, he stood on the side of the underprivileged.

James 2:5-7

  • James urges us not to privilege the rich. Often they are rich only because they are underpaying, entrapping, or otherwise exploiting the poor.
  • Of course not all poor people will be saved, and not all rich people will be condemned.
  • But the Scriptures heavily favor the needy, pity the plight of the poor, and call us all to take responsibility.
  • Irony: cozying up to the very people who are exploiting you!
  • The rich typically use the law to gain wealth, keep it, and make it grow—and keep it away from others.


Next: The Royal Law

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