Summary: : His focus is on “How a Christian should act every day?” and “The importance of living like a Christian every day”. He challenges us and the church that it is possible to believe the right way and live the wrong way.
James- A Servant of the Lord – Some thoughts we need to ponder?
Thesis of the book of James: His focus is on “How a Christian should act every day?” and “The importance of living like a Christian every day”. He challenges us and the church that it is possible to believe the right way and live the wrong way.
Opening Verse: James 1:1 “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.”
Key Verse of James : James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
The author of James: Who wrote the book of James? Lets first discover which James did not write this book.
No it was not our Youth director James. He was not born yet.
The author of James is not the disciple James because he was martyred in 44 AD and the book was penned in AD 45 or in the early 50’s. This James is one of the sons of thunder. He was John’s brother and one of the 3 closest disciples to Jesus. This James known as the son of Zebedee, James the Elder, and also James the great. This James was beheaded at the command of King Herod Antipas I. He killed James to please the Jewish leaders of the day. So we are positive it was not this James.
The author of James is not “James the less” another disciple of Jesus. James the less was the brother of Matthew – the author of Matthew- the converted tax collector. There mother’s name was Mary married to Clopas/Alphaeus. It is believed by most scholars that James “the less” and Matthew were cousins of Jesus. This James was an opposite of his brother and considered to be a zealot.
The author of James was the brother of James. It’s important for you to remember that James did not become a disciple of Jesus until after Jesus’ resurrection and before the day of Pentecost in Acts 1:13. We know that prior to the resurrection Jesus’ family at one point tried to get him to stop doing His ministry.
James the ½ brother of Jesus was one of Joseph’s kids. Many in the Roman Catholic and Armenian Orthodox churches claim that James “the ½ brother of Jesus” was “James the less” the reason they promote this teaching is because of their claim that Mary the mother of Jesus was always a virgin. When she was promoted to Holy Mary the early influence of Docetism claimed her to be a virgin because they believed intercourse to be sinful. So they claimed Mary was without sin. But the Apostle Paul in Galatians 1:19, makes it clear that James was the ½ brother of Jesus.
Paul had many different meetings with James. James was the one who specifically commissioned Barnabas and Paul to go preach to the Gentiles. They also reported the news of the revival among the Gentiles to James. James was considered the chairman of the church in Jerusalem and one of the pillars of the church.
I. James the ½ brother of Jesus calls himself a servant, a slave of the Lord and his character trait of being a prayer warrior follows his life and left a legacy on what spiritual leadership is all about.
a. James was nick named “Old Camel Knees” according to Peterson. He states, “James carried the nickname ‘Old Camel Knees’ because of the thick calluses built up on his knees from many years of determined prayer’ (563).
i. McBirnie Notes, “Prayer was his constant business and delight. He seemed to live upon it and to trade in nothing but the frequent returns of converse with Heaven” (187,188).
ii. To be a slave of Jesus means that you communicate with the Master. You communicate with him and ask what he wants you do. You discover that the only way you know what to do is by being on your knees with Him.
1. One of the signs of a spiritual leader is one who knows how to pray. Because this is what brings wisdom to a leaders life and a believers life.
2. James was a pillar in the early church because he knew the importance of prayer.
3. All good quality leaders pray.
b. The question can be asked “Why Should leaders (Christians) Pray?
i. Blackaby answers this question with 6 reasons why spiritual leaders need to pray. Spiritual Leadership page 153
1. Prayer is an essential leadership (Christian) activity.
2. Prayer brings the Spirit’s filling.
3. Prayer brings God’s wisdom.
4. Prayer accesses God’s power.
5. Prayer relieves stress
6. Prayer reveals God’s agenda