Although James was the half – brother of Jesus, he initially did not follow him.
Even his own brothers did not believe in Him (John 7:5)
So what would cause such a shift in James?
His wholehearted transformation into a devoted disciple of Jesus was almost certainly triggered by the resurrection. According to 1st Corinthians 15:7, James was one of the first people whom Jesus appeared to afterward
When the apostle Paul met him (Gal 1:19), James was a respected leader in the church of Jerusalem. Years later, Paul referred to Peter, James & John as the pillars of the church (Gal 2:9)
When Paul arrived in Jerusalem after his 3rd missionary journey, James was the established pastor and leader of the Jerusalem church, for he alone is named among “all the elders” (Acts 21:17-18)
This appears to be written in approximately late 40’s AD, just about 15 years after Christ’s ascension.
The book of James provides the outline of an instruction manual targeted at both the individual and the church as a whole. The ultimate goal for both appears to be reaching and living a mature Christian life. James has an ability to penetrate to the heart of matters by cutting to the chase without mincing words. Within the first few verses he interweaves and addresses temptation, patience, wisdom and faith in such clear order that it becomes obvious he feels compelled to teach. I am left with the impression that the teaching comes from a place of authority that was earned by personal experience and revelation, thus providing a greater degree of trust to the reader.
James succinctly addresses the vantage points of spiritual victory over carnal desires, enabling one to examine their hearts and actions with conviction rather than condemnation. I am struck hard by the pinpoint accuracy of understanding when explaining desires of the flesh. His tutelage on the significance of discernment, faith in action, walking in humility and living a prayerful life are so practical but yet remain insightful. This has left me with a template on not only how to live my life but also what to do when confronted with real situations.
examples on the tongue to a horse’s bit and ship rudder possibly leading to the magnitude of a forest fire from a single spark left me in awe. The following illustration of a natural fountain’s inability to deliver both sweet and bitter water drove me to contemplate man as originally conceived in the heart of God. Adam could only be speaking words that were sweet and edifying to the ear of God when walking together on earth. But because of sins destruction our carnal nature has now become a mutation of the Father’s original creation.
Unlike the world, God refuses to view us as to what our current nature reveals but rather as who we are in Christ as seen through the eyes of faith. He has shown the greatest example of faith in action by not imposing His will but rather inviting us to commune with him. Once again, James provides simple instructions as to how we can engage the king of Heaven. “Draw near unto God and He will draw near unto you”
Personally I am led to conclude that everything important in life is based on loving and right relationships. Beginning with God and than to my family, onto the church along with work and social interactions and finally to the stranger I have yet to meet. After all, does this not summarize the two greatest commandments as instructed by Jesus?
As always…..just my opinion…..