James 2:8-13 The Royal Law, And “Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment.”
Jesus reiterated ‘the royal law’ to do unto others as we would have them do unto us (Cf. Lev. 19:18b; Mk. 12:31). It is also meant to take the place of vengeance on our part (Cf. Lev. 19:18a; Dt. 32:35). James also reiterates this law, as did Paul (v. 8 Cf. Rom. 13:9). To show partiality, as he has been saying, goes contrary to this law (Cf. vv. 1-7). To do so is a sin, and thus those who show partiality “are convicted by the law as transgressors” (v. 9 Cf. Dt. 1:17). On this point James laid down a principle which Moses and Paul also laid down that, “whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all” (v. 10 Cf. Dt. 27:26; Gal. 3:10), whether that is murder or adultery (v. 11 Cf. Ex. 20:13-14; Dt. 5:17-18). The law is a law of liberty by showing us our true condition, and laying down for us the perfect standard, both of which should drive us to the Lord of glory (v. 12). In the Lord alone there is mercy, and if we are truly in Him, we too must show mercy. “For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (v. 13 Cf. Pr. 21:13; Mic. 7:18).