Summary: The life of James, the half-brother of Jesus, is a great example for us to follow. Even though initially he didn’t believe in Jesus, he went on to trust Him as Saviour and Lord, and became a passionate, committed disciple of Jesus.
JOURNEY THROUGH JAMES #1: THE HALF-BROTHER OF JESUS
INTRO TO TOPIC:
• Can you imagine what it would have been like to share a bunk bed with Jesus as a kid?
• When I was a kid, I had two younger sisters, so I never had to share a room with them.
• Maybe Jesus and his brothers climbed trees, fished and played ball games together.
• One of Jesus’ brothers wrote a book that we’re going to study for the next two months.
“James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.” (James 1:1, NKJV).
• The different James’ in the Bible – mentioned 38 times:
1. One of the 12 disciples: James, the son of Zebedee, brother of John (Matt. 4:21).
2. Another one of the 12 disciples: James, the son of Alphaeus (Matt. 10:3).
3. James, the son of Mary and Joseph, the half-brother of Jesus.
• “The author identifies himself as James, and he was probably the brother of Jesus and leader of the Jerusalem council.” (NASB Study Bible, James: Introduction Notes).
• “Tradition has ascribed the book to the Lord’s brother, and there is no reason to question this view.” (Spirit Filled Life Bible, The Epistle of James).
THE BIG IDEA: The life of James, the half-brother of Jesus, is a great example for us to follow. Even though initially he didn’t believe in Jesus, he went on to trust Him as Saviour and Lord, and became a passionate, committed disciple of Jesus.
THE LIFE OF JAMES: THE HALF-BROTHER OF JESUS:
1. Jesus’ brothers thought He was crazy.
“But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind…” Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, "Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You."” (Mark 3:21,31-32, NKJV).
• Jesus’ family thought He had lost His mind because He kept saying He was God.
• If your brother started saying this, would you be concerned?
• “Really? I knew he had a high self-esteem, but God? Wow!”
• We would call this an intervention today! They thought He was crazy.
• Some of you might think about Jesus the same way His family once did:
o But they progressed from thinking He was crazy and not believing in Him.
2. Jesus’ brothers were offended by Him.
“Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses (Joseph), Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?" And they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” (Mark 6:3-4).
• Notice Jesus grew up in a big family – four half-brothers and at least two half-sisters.
• Side-note: One of his brothers was named Judas: What a bummer for him, hey?