Summary: This man is worthy of our time! He was one of the 12 men chosen by Jesus to bear witness to His life, death, and resurrection. This James became a missionary preacher and died testifying to Jesus’ reality.
THE 12 APOSTLES:
JAMES SON OF ALPHAEUS
A. HUMOR: Origin of the 10 Commandments
1. The Jewish people love to make good financial deals, hence the term – “he Jew-ed them down.” Different people groups have different characteristics. The story is told…
2. Centuries ago, God came down, went to the Germans and said, "I have Commandments that will help you live better lives."
a. The Germans ask, "What are Commandments?"
And the Lord says, "Rules for living."
b. "Can you give us an example?" God said, "Thou shalt not kill." "Not kill? We're not interested."
3. So God went to the Italians and said, "I have Commandments..." The Italians wanted an example and the Lord said, "Thou shalt not steal." "Not steal? We're not interested."
4. Next the Lord went to the French saying, "I have Commandments..." The French wanted an example and the Lord said, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife."
And the French, “We’re not interested.”
5. God then went to the Jews and said, "I have Commandments..." "Commandments," said the Jews, "How much will they cost?" "They're free." "Oh! Then we'll take 10!” And that’s reportedly how they got the 10 Commandments!
1. Tonight is the 9th part in our series called, “The 12 Apostles of Jesus.” Tonight we get to one of the 3 apostles that little is known about; James the son of Alphaeus.
2. There are only four direct mentions of this man, always in a list of the apostles -- mentioned by name only. We don’t know of anything he said, nor do we know of anything he did. So what is there to say about this guy? We shall see!
3. But this man is worthy of our time! He was one of the 12 men chosen by Jesus to bear witness to His life, death, and resurrection. This James became a missionary preacher and died testifying to Jesus’ reality.
4. So let’s open the Bible and embark on the surprising study of one of the 12 Apostles: James Son of Alphaeus.
I. CONFUSION OF THE 3 JAMESES
To make things pretty confusing, there were 3 apostles named James; James son of Zebedee (brother of John), James son of Alphaeus, and another James who was the head of the church at Jerusalem.
A. EXAMPLES OF THIS CONFUSION
1. In 2 of the leading articles I googled about James the son of Alpheus, they had misinformation:
2. “He was the brother of the Apostle Jude. According to tradition he wrote the Epistle of James… James was a man of strong character and one of the most fiery type. Tradition tells us that he also died as a martyr and his body was sawed in pieces. The saw became his apostolic symbol. (“The 12 Apostles of Jesus,” Bibleinfo.com]
3. He “was the brother to the Apostle Jude… This is the James who probably wrote the Epistle of James (though that is disputed).” (Who Were The 12 Apostles? David Peach).
4. It seems impossible that supposed scholars would make such an error, but there’s an important reason.
B. REASONS FOR THIS CONFUSION
1. Many students of Scripture mistakenly refer to James son of Alphaeus and James the brother of the Lord Jesus as being identical.
2. This wrong view is the result of a strange and misguided movement in the Catholic Church to elevate Mary above all other women.
3. Beginning in the 4th century and building until the 7th century, when it was made church law, the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary was developed.
4. This doctrine states that Mary was not only a virgin at the time of her conception by the Holy Spirit of the Christ child, but that she remained a virgin for the rest of her life.
5. The proponents of this doctrine teach that Jesus was the only biological son of Mary. He didn’t have brothers or sisters.
6. Therefore the passages which refer to Jesus’ brothers & sisters are not speaking of literal siblings (they argue), but were either 1). stepbrothers and sisters (of Joseph, prior to marrying Mary, or Joseph fulfilling his duty for his supposed brother Clopas, who had died, giving issue to James) or 2). were cousins.
C. THE BIBLE ON JESUS’ FAMILY
1. In Matt. 13:55-56 says, “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us?”
2. Mk. 6:3, “Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.”
3. Mark 3:20-21Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”