Just Like Jesus
History tells of James, his leadership in the church, his legacy of praying, and his unrelenting commitment to the work of his big brother. As we've seen James undeniable "family" resemblance and commitment to his big brother led him to pastor, shepherd, preach, teach, write, and ultimately die for the cause he was earlier in life critical of.
James spent all of his formative years watching Jesus. The Bible tells us he was a critic of Jesus and he was converted by Jesus.
Historians tell us he courageously died for Jesus. In AD 62 James, the formerly wimpy kid, was taken by religious authorities to the top of the temple mount in an effort to kill him and silence his voice. From the highest point of the temple he was thrown off and left for dead. But being tough like Jesus he gathered his strength pulled himself up on his knees, bowed his head, is recorded saying "father forgive them they know not what they do.", and then was clubbed to death as onlookers watched.
The authorities killed Jesus, they killed his little brother, and church history tells us that another one of Jesus' little brothers took James' place. What a family, what a big brother, what a GOD!
James is one of the most practical books in the Bible, tackling real life issues and struggles that all of us face: temptation, self-control, work, anger, poverty, favoritism and more. James didn’t start there though. He started as a little brother who mocked his big brother. He was ashamed of Jesus.
Years later, with a tender heart and a bold conviction, he releases a treatise of faith, works, and following Jesus. The person who caused these changes in James is still transforming people today. James grew up to want to be like his big brother and his words are a plea to you and me to be JUST LIKE JESUS.
This post corresponds with Pastor Jacob's September 10 sermon "Just Like Jesus" from James 1:1.