A Few More Thoughts on James…
One of the greatest and most profound aspects of the letter that James writes to the early church is the fact that James was most likely Jesus half-brother. There are two other less likely writers in the New Testament named James, but most of the evidence is going to point to James the Just, the leader of the church in Jerusalem and son of Mary and Joseph. This may seem like a small thing to some, but being one of five kids makes the fact that James was a Christian extraordinary. Even if James isn’t the writer of the epistle, it is an historically documented fact that James was a follower of Christ after His ascension and James led the church in Jerusalem before it was burned in 70 AD.
I have a brother. He’s a great guy, one of my best friends. I believe that he’d do just about anything I asked him to do within a certain type of reason, but he’d never worship me. He probably thinks I’m a pretty good guy, too. He might even like me more than a lot of other people, but he doesn’t write songs about me. He doesn’t go around telling people that they should worship me, he’s just my brother. And there aren’t many people in history who have convinced their family to worship them.
A lot of people believe that Christianity is a religion that requires blind faith. They discredit our beliefs because they say it’s not logical or doesn’t have enough evidence. The Bible tells us otherwise. We have a guy in James the Just who believed that Jesus was God even though he had grown up with Him. If there was anyone who could have dispelled the rumor of Christ’s deity and perfection it would have been James. James and his family had at one point questioned Jesus sanity (Mark 3:21) and the Scriptures clearly point out that Jesus’ brothers did not follow Him in His earthly ministry (John 7:5). James is a crucial witness in defense of our faith and his letter stands as God’s inspired Word to us about how to live in accordance to faith in Jesus. How awesome is God for His grace to James in saving him, calling him, and speaking through him.
There is so much to be learned from the book of James, but one of the greatest lessons comes in what’s not explicitly said. This lesson teaches us about the realness of our faith. It is not a blind faith. We trust God’s use of eyewitnesses like James to communicate to us who Jesus is, and hope that by His Spirit we may come to life as James did. Grace and peace,