James, The Brother of Jesus James 1:19-21
James’ Home Life † His oldest brother, Jesus, would have the most memories of all the children! – Matt. 1:18-25 † Mary and Joseph would have told the stories of each child’s birth. Imagine hearing the story of your oldest brother Jesus! – Luke 2:1-7 † In our family we talked about the different places we lived. I wonder what the small Israelite family shared about their flight into Egypt and their return home? – Matt. 2:13-15
James’ Youth In the Synagogue of Nazareth during the reading of the prophets, James would have heard some of these passages read… Micah 5:2 “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.” James’s possible thoughts: “That’s where my brother Jesus was born.”
James’ Youth In the Synagogue of Nazareth during the reading of the prophets, James would have heard some of these passages read. Hosea 11:1 “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.” I wonder if James ever thought: “Mom, dad and Jesus lived in Egypt for a while when Herod the great was killing baby boys.”
James’ Youth In the Synagogue of Nazareth during the reading of the prophets, James would have heard some of these passages read. Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” I wonder if James ever thought: “That’s the name that my oldest brother Jesus has.”
James’ Family While we know that Mary was attentive to her oldest son and his claims (Luke 2:51), the rest of Jesus’ siblings, including James, were not! † James did not believe in him. - John 7:5 † At one point they sought to take him home because they thought he was insane. - Mark 3:21 † When they arrived to take him, Jesus disowned them in a sense and would not go with them. - Mark 3:31-35
Quick to Listen James • He is talking about active listening. • He heard stories about his brother his entire life. • He heard the prophets read assembly after assembly, but he never made the connection between what was read and his brother. You • How many times have you acknowledged that someone was speaking, but you never really stopped to understand what they were saying? • Do you think you have people, or more importantly God’s word already figured out and consequently have a hard time discovering more and maturing more? • You need to learn to listen.
Slow to Speak James • I’m sure that James had quick replies for many people who may have suggested that Jesus was telling the truth. • I am sure that James is speaking from experience when he says we need to think before we respond. • Knowing how some families work, I’m sure there were moments when Mary tried to get her children to reconcile with Jesus, but James already knew what how he would respond. You • If you want to understand what other people have to say, you can not be listening with an ear to immediately respond. • Take time to think about what has been said, especially if coming from an older Christian and even more so from God’s word!
Slow to Get Angry James • I can imagine James getting so tired of the talk about his oldest brother that he did not respond to it very well at times. • James was probably one of the brothers who became angry and tried to bring Jesus home. • More than likely, James choose to get angry when Jesus used his visit as an opportunity to teach a lesson to his disciples. You • James tells you that the last key to hearing what God has to say to us is to control your anger! • Sometimes when you hear what God says you get angry and quickly respond in a negative way, and really do not hear him at all. • James tells you that anger does not produce Godly behavior or righteousness.
James’ Christian Life Some of the lessons James learned… • Be quick to listen - James 1:19 • Be slow to speak - James 1:19 • Be slow to get angry - James 1:19-20