“Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away.” (James 1:9–10).
The gospel gives every human what they need. It is the answer. James saw this truth. Every person is walking through the issues of life. Every person needs truth to guide and define them. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the bright light humanity needs, illuminating reality.
The Gospel Elevates The Lowly.
“Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation,” James writes. Exaltation is exactly what the gospel has done to those in a low station in life. The forgotten, the disadvantaged, the disenchanted — all are elevated by the cross of Jesus Christ. The cross tells humanity we are loved, valued, and seen as precious in the eyes of God. For those who have never been told of their value, the gospel helps exalt them. We were dead in our trespasses and sins, but we weren’t without value, for God Himself paid the price for us. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they say, and God has deemed us as beautiful. The lowly brother (or sister) is to boast in this exaltation from God.
The Gospel Humbles The Lofty.
“And the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away,” James continued. The lofty believer, the one who occupies a more coveted station in life, is to allow the gospel to humble them. Their wealth might be of riches or influence, but it ought not to be allowed to make them prideful. Without the gospel, their loftiness would do just that. Their advantages in life would make them believe in their inherent value over others. Their might would become their right. But the gospel destroys views such as these, leveling humanity as a mass of sinners who will pass away without hope unless the blood has cleansed them. The lofty brother or sister is to boast in this humiliation from God.
The gospel gives each one exactly what they need. It helps us see ourselves correctly, which enables a growing and deeper fellowship with others as the years pass. When, after Christ’s ascension, the gospel began to flood the world, the various classes and cultures of the world began to find unity in Christ. It was not a utopian unity, but one which came through learning and growth over time. May the gospel of Jesus Christ continue to teach us today as we strive to live with and love one another.