Friday, March 16, 2012
I really like the book of James. He has a way of really connecting with his readers. Ultimately, I think this stems from who he was as a minister. He wasn’t raised as a Christian. Jesus was his brother, but James didn’t come to believe that Jesus was the Messiah until sometime after the death and resurrection of Christ.
Once he believed, James really dug into the meat of Christianity. He became the head of the Jerusalem church, which was basically the center of Christianity. It’s where some of the largest debates, such as the circumcision controversy Paul references in several of his letters. Jerusalem was also a victim of Roman brutality do to Roman-Jewish conflicts. While the Bible doesn’t speak of James’ death, tradition says that as Roman soldiers drug him out of a church, it was noticed that his knees had become bloody and raw from the sheer volume of time he spent on his knees in prayer. James wasn’t some theologian sitting in the high ivory tower of academia; he was in the trenches of ministry. He lived, breathed, and eventually died for his faith in Christ.
The book of James is about real conditions in the church. Real temptations. Real trials that people face everyday. James, speaking from the trenches of ministry, tells us how to practically live out our lives as Christians. While healing to wounds of the broken and destitute, he delves into the true nature of Christian wisdom. No matter what mile-marker you happen to be standing next to on the road with Christ, it’s full of great advice for the everyday Christian.