Summary: Many people spend their whole lives searching for something of value when it is closer than they could ever imagine. James was such a man who needed to discover what he already knew.
Once there was a band of poor Brazilian goat headers who decided to make a long journey to California in search of gold. They took with them bags of rocks they used in a gambling game. Unfortunately, most of them died on the dangerous journey. One young man made it to San Francisco with nothing but his bag of rocks. When it was discovered the rocks were diamonds a group was immediately organized to go back to Brazil to find diamonds.
Many people spend their whole lives searching for something of value when it is closer than they could ever imagine. James was such a man who needed to discover what he already knew.
James was born into a family of faith. His mother was Mary and his father was Joseph. Can you imagine the stories that young James grew up hearing around the supper table? Stories of angel visitations, Kings from the East, midnight flights to Egypt to escape King Herod, were all part of James’ regular conversations with his parents.
Greater than that was the fact that James’ half-brother was Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Savior. He was there when Jesus performed His first miracle in changing the water into wine. He was there when Jesus taught that great Sermon on the Mount. No one could have been offered better circumstances to come to salvation than this man James!
In spite of all of these great circumstances, James’ spiritual life was in a constant state of confusion. He and his brothers and sisters just did not see who Jesus really was. James and his siblings could not have reacted well to these words of Jesus:
Matthew 12:46-50 - While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.” But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”
Added to these confusing words were the fact that people around Christ were divided over Who He was. In John 6:60-69 many left Jesus and refused to follow Him any more. They said His words were just too hard to follow. Others like Peter confessed their faith in Christ as Lord and King. Sadly, John 7:1-9 tells us that James and his family took the side of the unbelievers while Jesus walked this earth.
Many people are like James today. Like James, they have in essence been around Jesus all of their lives yet refused to believe in Him. They have been in church, heard the Bible preached, and even sung hymns of praise to God while all the time failing to put their faith in Him as Lord and Savior. They need to discover what they already have within their grasp!
Very little is known about the salvation of James. However, we do know that sometime after the resurrection of Christ, James gave his life to Christ. Only Mary is mentioned being at the cross of Jesus but by the time the disciples gathered for prayer in Acts 1, James and his brothers and sisters were there as believers. What made the difference? 1 Corinthians 15:7 says that the difference was that James saw and believed on the resurrected Christ.