Summary: A look at the changed life of James
The Metamorphosis of James the Brother of Jesus
James’ passion bleeds out over the words that he uses. He has the passion of a sincere Jewish Christian and may well be called the Amos (after the prophet) of the new covenant. It is thick with pastoral encouragement, and pastoral rebuke. On this excursion into the book of James we begin first by looking at the life of this man chosen by God…
There are four different James’ that are recorded in the NT that could be the writers of this Epistle (letter): 1) James the Son of Zebedee, brother of John who was one of those closest to Jesus (Peter, James and John); 2) James the son of Alphaus who was also known as James the Lesser; 3) James the father of Judas, (not Isacriot); 4) and James the brother of Jesus who eventually became converted and in charge of the church in Jerusalem. Of the four only two seem probable at being the writers and that is James the son of Zebedee and James the brother of Jesus. James the son of Zebedee was the first of the apostles to die a martyrs death in 44AD (recorded in Acts 12:1,2 Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword), which was before this letter was written and therefore it is fairly unanimous by scholars that the author is James the brother of Jesus.
This morning we will look at James the brother (the cynical and concerned brother), James the believer (in his conversion, His filling with the holy Spirit and His leadership in the church) and James the bondservant (Bonded to Jesus, to serve and to death).
1) The Brother
i) We know that James was the brother of Jesus from Galations 1:19 “But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother”
ii) To say that James and Jesus were different would be the ultimate understatement… they were as a different as two brothers could be and it wasn’t until his brother’s death that they would have a commonality…
iii) James and his brothers had a different take of their older brother. As Jesus roamed about the land preaching and doing miraculous signs and wonders you have to wonder what does Jesus’ family think about all this
iv) We find some interesting insight on the family and what they thought about Jesus
v) John 7:1-5 Verse 5 says His brothers did not believe in Him. Verse 5 tells us about the spirit His brothers were talking in when they gave Jesus that great advice.
vi) The Jews sought to kill Him Judea, but his brothers told Him to go where? Judea
vii) Maybe even sought His death, for Jesus did not want to go to Judea for the Jews sought to kill him, but His brothers told him to go there… Like Jospeh?
viii) Sibling rivalry is brutal. Kids are often jealous because they think one child is getting more attention. When jealousy results in name-calling or mockery… You may be on one end or the other and it is wrong behavior…
ix) We may have family members who have not yet bowed their hearts before the Almighty God and accepted His gift of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ… and having rivalry between you and them is not going to draw them in any quicker.
x) Jesus told us it would be this way Matt 10:34-39… His experience…
xi) His brothers were obviously skeptics about the claims that their brother and His disciples were making. They had a cynicism that seeped in their hearts and spilled out towards their brother and they also had great concern…
b) Concerned (He has lost His mind)
i) Look at Mark 3:20-21 The Greek definition for “His own people” means His family. They thought Jesus had lost it. They may have misinterpreted His zeal for mental imbalance
ii) If you look at verse 31 as well His family sought to speak to Jesus right in the middle of His teaching His disciples Matt 12:46 says “they were wanting to speak with Him” and it wasn’t to invite Him to Sunday supper
iii) They were concerned and verse 21 tells us they had plans to seize Him and drag Him away by force
iv) “Hey Jesus come out here we want to talk to you” but Jesus knew there hearts He wasn’t about to go out there into that.
v) Were they trying to protect Jesus from a fate they saw Him steering Himself into or were they just trying to protect themselves and their family name.
vi) There is no doubt in my mind that some of these brothers and sisters got a little riding form the Jewish leaders about Jesus and perhaps they were getting tired of it. Yet they thought they being apart of a solution while making themselves apart of the problem.