Summary: The way that JAMES introduces himself tells us that he possesses the character trait of HUMILITY. Today we want to learn about that character trait so that we can apply it to the way that we relate to others.
James, Servant of God
How do you introduce yourself? The way you introduce yourself says a lot about you.
SOME.... Tell you their life story.
SOME.... Ask questions about the other person.
SOME.... Wait to be introduced.
Whether it is on a RESUME, or at a PARTY, or your FIRST DAY at a NEW SCHOOL, there are times when we have to introduce ourselves.
The way that JAMES introduces himself tells us that he possesses the character trait of HUMILITY. Today we want to learn about that character trait so that we can apply it to the way that we relate to others.
The way that James in UNLIKE the Christian businessman who was visiting a church was asked to give his testimony. He shared the following: “I have a fine family, a large house, a successful business, and a good reputation. I have plenty of money so I can support some Christian ministries very generously. Many organizations want me on their board of directors. I have good health and almost unlimited opportunities. What more could I ask from God?”
As he paused for effect, a voice shouted from the back of the auditorium, “How about asking Him for a good dose of humility?”
(Lou Nichols, http://www.family-times.net/illustration/Humility/201517/)
So, What do we know about the author of the book of James?
The only personal information is that he is “James, a servant of God.” (James 1:1)
There is not a uniform opinion on the THEME of JAMES. I believe that the best way to summarize the theme is that James is writing primarily about “Steadfast Faith.” We will focus on this theme as we study the book in the coming months.
The first question to settle is concerning the author. There are FOUR men named James in the New Testament. Which one is the author of this book? It seems that the author was well known among by the audience. He gives no information about himself, indicating that the readers who were “scattered abroad” (1:1) knew who he was.
Of the four men bearing this name in the New Testament, the only one who fits the details and the timing of the book is James, the ½ brother of Jesus.
James the son of Alphaeus (Mark 3:18) is not mentioned elsewhere.
James the father of Judas (not Iscariot; Luke 6:16) is not mentioned elsewhere.
Only James, the half brother of the Lord was known weel enough to qualify as the author of James. J. Ronald Blue, “James,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 814–815.
What Do we Know About James?
He was one of Jesus Brothers. We find James at Capernaum. Matthew 12:46 (ESV) “While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.
At this time, he is NOT a believer! John 7:5 (ESV) “For not even his brothers believed in him.”
The event that changed James was the Resurrection. He was a witness to Christ’s resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:7 (ESV) Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
James was with the disciples in the upper room, awaiting the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:14 (ESV) All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
Paul visits James after he sees Jesus. Acts 9:26–29 (ESV) And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. 28 So he went in and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 And he spoke and disputed against the Hellenists. But they were seeking to kill him.
And in Acts 15:12-21, we find that James is the HEAD of the Jerusalem Church! Acts 15:12–13 (ESV) — 12 And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me.
He was STILL in Jerusalem during Paul’s missionary missions. Acts 21:18–19 (ESV) — 18 On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. 19 After greeting them, he related one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.