Summary: James (or actually, Jacob in Hebrew) was one of the most dramatic cases of a changed life after having been an eyewitness to the resurrection.
Show Jesus’ Little Brother video clip from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2BfHfkFJCQ
1. James’ Ossuary
A little over 10 years ago, a French scientist made the discovery of an ossuary with the inscription, “James, the son of Joseph, brother of Jesus” on it. An ossuary was a small limestone box used to hold the bones of a dead person after the body decayed (approximately one year after initial burial). The box was about 2’ long x 1’ high x 1’ wide. The box had been in someone’s private collection in Jerusalem until someone recognized the importance of the inscription. Was it actually James’ ossuary? We cannot be certain, but why not?
2. We have been looking at witnesses to the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15 because the appearances of Yeshua (Jesus) made a life-changing impact on the eyewitnesses. WE are his disciples because the resurrection changed their lives.
a. Peter – impetuous; defensive; denials; died for Yeshua (Jesus)
b. The 12 – defectors at the cross who became defenders of the cross
c. 500 – became a fearless community of believers
d. ALL were impacted by the resurrection and the appearances of Yeshua (Jesus) to them
e. So many witnesses gives validity to the event
3. Today – James, the Lord’s Brother – Galatians 1.18-19
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.
a. There was a significant change in James (Yacov) which lead him to become a great leader of the people of God
b. Not James, the brother of John or James, the son of Alphaeus – Lord’s brother
I. Jacob (James) Entered a Period of Unbelief
A. “James” Is Actually “Jacob”
1. “Supplanter” – Difficulties between Jacob and Esau
2. Jacob (James) also gave Yeshua (Jesus) problems
b. A High standard to live up to?
B. The Neglect of Jacob (James) – Critical of Yeshua (Jesus)
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who does actually try to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” – Jacob (James) would learn to get into the fray and he would succeed mightily!
Theodore Roosevelt, speech before the Hamilton Club, Chicago (April 10, 1899), in Swindoll, Hand Me Another Brick, p. 79.
1. The real family of Yeshua (Jesus) – Mark 3.19b-20; 31-35
Then he went home; 20 and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. 21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for people were saying, “He is beside himself.”
31 And his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting about him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, asking for you.” 33 And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking around on those who sat about him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
2. Taunting of Brothers (including Jacob) – John 7.3-5
After this Jesus went about in Galilee; he would not go about in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him. 2 Now the Jews’ feast of Tabernacles was at hand. 3 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea that your disciples may see the works you are doing. 4 For no man works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For even his brothers did not believe in him.
a. Between Yom Kippur and Feast of Tabernacles
b. Tabernacles – Depiction of World to Come and Entrance of Nations
II. Jacob (James) Exhibited a Passionate Faith
But Moses’ hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat upon it, and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.