Epistles (Letters)

The Epistle of James

Gospel 8- The Good News of James

James is the second book after the Epistles to the Hebrews, primarily focused on faith. James, the brother of our Lord Jesus Christ who was raised with his siblings in Nazareth, had first-hand knowledge about Jesus regarding his behavior, attitude, character, and maturity. Nobody can claim that knowledge except those who lived with the Lord Jesus under one roof. If someone else would claim that they knew Jesus, especially those years when the Bible was silent about him, it is a false claim. No other human being knew Jesus more than the members of his household. With his three other brothers, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, and a sister, James kept the silent years of young Jesus in private and was respected.

Jesus’ family was in opposition during the early days of his ministry. In return, Jesus said for the unbelief, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, among his relatives, and in his house.” Mark 6:4, Matthew 13:57, Luke 4:24, and John 4:44. Randomly, we would see four gospels come together as one. James finally believed in Jesus and was convinced and converted by the Lord’s resurrection in 1 Corinthians. 15:7; Paul says that the Lord Jesus appeared to James after the resurrection.

James led the church in Jerusalem until his violent death in AD62; he believed nothing in Jesus more than he was his brother. In John 7:3-5 Jesus’s brothers mocked His brothers and said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea so that your disciples there may see the works you do. 4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world”.” “For even his brothers did not believe in him.” After the sign of his supernatural power, he healed a man who had been disabled for 38 years, fed 5,000 men, and walked on water. These miracles happened near the end of Jesus’ ministry and close to his death by crucifixion- John 5:2-9; John 6:5-14; John 6:16-21.

John 6:16-21 – NIV Bible – When evening came, his disciples went down to…

John 6:16-21 – NIV: When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set o…

James was not the most doubtful in the household about Jesus being the Son of God, as he claimed. James and Jesus grew up together, played, slept, ate, and shared many more things that they did and shared in 12 years. If we would include Jesus’ silent years, which gives a total of 30 years, These years were enough experience and evidence James could have gathered to defend his unbelief. However,  James went further, calling Jesus a madman” “When his family heard this, they set out to restrain him because they said “He is out of his mind Mark 3:21 WEB. No one would think their sibling was God. Maybe gifted, but not God.   

In the early days after the resurrection, James became the church’s leader in Jerusalem and was acknowledged by the Jews with reverence, who called him James the Just. James was finally martyred for his faith by being pushed off the pinnacle of the temple. James believed that his half-brother, as written in John 1″ “The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory as the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth”.” John 1:14—World English Bible (WEB).

And so he began his letter, like this, James 1:1 James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ… 2 Count it all joy, my brothers when you fall into various temptations, three knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, without doubting. James’ good news is about faith with work. I encourage you to read Chapter 2. Faith without work is dead. If money doesn’t grow on trees, it doesn’t grow without work.

James 2:14-26—1″ “What good is it, my brothers if a man says he has faith but has no works? Can faith save him? 15 AndIfbrother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you tells them” “Go in peace. Be warmed and filled,” yet you did not give them the things the body needs; what good is it? 17 Even so, faith is dead if it has no works. 18 Yes, a man will say” “You have faith, and I have wor.”.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith by my works… 2″ “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so, faith apart from works is dead.” —World English Bible

Do you expect to receive what you need from God if you do not have faith? Hebrews 11:6 says it is impossible to please God without faith.

To God be the glory. God is all in all.

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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