Summary: Study on the lives of the 12 Disciples

12 Disciples – James – Monday 16th October 06

James is the 3rd disciple mentioned in Matthew 10:3

The name ‘James’ is the English equivalent of the Greek ‘Jacobus’ meaning ‘supplanter’

2 others called James. The Lords brother Gal 1:19, and the son of Alphaeus Matthew 10:3

1. Occupation.

James was a fisherman like his brother John. They worked with their father Zebedee. (Matthew 4:21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father,)

2. The Inner Circle (Jairus’ Daughter – Mark 5:37 – 43, Luke 8:41 – 56)

The three disciples who consisted of the “Inner Circle” were Peter, and the two brothers James and John. 3 times we see these disciple go with the Lord when the others didn’t.

• Jairus’ daughter being raise from the dead (we will look at that now as part of our study on James)

• The Mount of Transfigeration (we look at this event when we studies Peter)

• Praying in the Garden of Gethsemane (we will look at this next week when we study John)

When Jairus left home, his daughter was so sick she was ready to die. By the time Jesus got away from the crowd to go with him, the girl had died. Jairus’ friends thought that Jesus could help only living people, so they advised Jairus to drop the matter and come home. But Jesus encouraged the distraught father with a word of hope.

The scene at the home would have discouraged anybody! The professional mourners were already there, weeping and wailing. Jesus took command of the situation and told the crowd to stop weeping because the girl was not dead but asleep. Of course she was dead, for her spirit had left her body but to Jesus, death was only sleep.

Sleep is a normal experience that we do not fear, and we should not fear death. It is the body that sleeps, not the spirit, for the spirit of the believer goes to be with Christ (Phil. 1:20-24; 2 Cor. 5:6-8). At the resurrection, the body will be “awakened” and glorified, and God’s people will share the image of Christ (1 John 3:1-2).

The mourners laughed at Jesus because they knew the girl was dead and that death was final. But they failed to realize that Jesus is “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25-26).

So He put them all out! This situation was much too tender and special for Him to allow dozens of unbelieving spectators to watch. He took the parents and three of His disciples, Peter, James, and John; and together they entered the room where the little girl lay dead.

He took her by the hand and spoke in Aramaic, “Talitha cumi! Little girl, arise!” This was not a magic formula but a word of command from the Lord of life and death (Rev. 1:17-18). Her spirit returned to her body and she arose and began to walk around the room! Jesus told them to give her something to eat.

3. The Sons of Thunder (Luke 9:51 – 56)

Here we see Christ is rejected (again) We can get a good lesson from James and John here on how NOT to act. They had seen the Prophet Elijah on the mount, so they thought they might imitate him and call down fire from heaven! (2 Kings 1) The Samaritans and Jews had been enemies for centuries so it was understandable that this village would reject Jesus as He travelled toward Jerusalem (John 4:9, 20).

There is a saying, “You attract more bees with honey.” Jesus rebuked their vengeful spirit and simply went to another village (Matt. 5:37-48). Later, Samaria would be reached with the Gospel (Acts 8).

4. The Sons of Ambition (Mark 10:32 – 45, Matthew 20:20)

For the third time, the Lord instructs the disciples about His coming death; now He tells them He will be crucified in Jerusalem (Matt. 20:19). You would think that this third announcement would have humbled the Twelve; but instead, James and John and their mother (Matt. 20:20) came asking Jesus for thrones! They had not yet learned the lesson that the cross must come before the crown and that suffering comes before glory.

James and John were ignorant of what He meant by the “cup” and the “baptism,” both of which pointed to His suffering and death on Calvary (Luke 12:50). Jesus promised that they would indeed taste of His cup and baptism. James was the first disciple martyred (Acts 12), and John suffered greatly, exiled on the Isle of Patmos (Rev. 1) Be careful how you pray; God may give you what you ask!

Jesus used this embarrassing event as an opportunity to teach His disciples once again the importance of humble service in the name of Jesus. Verse 45 is a key verse in Mark’s Gospel and summarizes the book: Christ came (chap. 1), ministered (chaps. 2-13), and gave His life as a ransom (chaps. 14-16).

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