Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.
For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.” So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law. (NLT)
Human beings have a natural tendency to create a sort of hierarchy of sins. Some are worse than others. And at times that is understandable. Murdering someone is obviously a lot more serious than getting angry at someone. Adultery does more immediate damage than lust.
But the point of our passage is that – a sin is a sin. Even such a seemingly small matter as showing favouritism to the rich and powerful is a breaking of God’s laws. We have a relative view of good and evil. God deals in absolutes. What we consider to be a small failing or trivial fault is enough to keep us from the presence of a perfectly holy God.
This fact leads us to a couple of conclusions. One is that we can’t afford to look down on those whose sins are far more obvious or dramatic. As the Bible says, all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standards. The other conclusion is that we are to be constantly thankful for the grace of God expressed in Jesus. It is his perfect goodness alone that makes us acceptable to God.
Praise God that Jesus’ goodness is greater than our trivial or terrible badness.