Jesus grew up in a house with brothers, one of whom was named James.
When Jesus started his earthly ministry, he began gathering a band of disciples to his side, but James wasn’t one of them (not this James, at least). The Bible says in John 7:5 that “even his brothers did not believe in him.”
Whatever his reasoning, James chose to watch his brother’s work from a distance, as a skeptic.
Until Jesus rose from the dead. And then things changed.
Within a few years of Jesus’ resurrection and return to heaven, James had committed himself to the Messiah, to Jesus Christ – once merely known to him as his older brother but now known to him quite differently.
In Acts, chapter 15, it is James, now an apostle, who leads the Jerusalem Church in its first recorded council meeting as the leadership handed down a significant decision about what the church should teach to non-Jewish Christians about the keeping of certain Old Testament Laws.
Then, James wrote a letter – a general epistle – to the messianic believers who had been scattered around the ancient middle eastern world because of persecution. In that letter, we catch a glimpse of James’ leadership. He wrote with boldness and assurance. His confidence about his faith in Christ is evident and his authority as an apostle comes through quite clearly.
He opens his letter with a greeting, and it is quite significant…
This letter is from James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.
– James 1:1 NLT
Not, James, the brother of Jesus, but James… a slave of God… and of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Maybe you’re still distant from Jesus today. Perhaps he doesn’t really enter into your day-to-day thoughts much, and you wonder if he’s really involved at all. If he’s everything some people say he is. If he can really be trusted as the Savior and King of your life.
Let James’ story be a testimony to you… I didn’t believe, but then I saw, and I felt, and I was convinced, and changed, and now everything is different and I’ll live the rest of my life exhausting every breath and ounce of energy to serve this risen Savior and King!
When you come face to face with the reality and power of the resurrection of King Jesus, nothing can ever be the same again. He changes everything.
When you stop resisting and trying to retain your independence, and you finally fold into the goodness of his grip of grace, you suddenly see yourself as his. And you realize he’s worthy of anything and everything you have to offer to him because he offered himself fully for you.
Before the resurrection, James was a skeptic. After Jesus’ resurrection, James was all-in. A believer. A leader. An apostle willing to do anything to serve the Master, Jesus Christ! Jesus had become everything to James.
Have you realized it yet? That Jesus is everything?