How amazing is it that Christ’s brother James (Jacob) was inspired by God to write to the 12 dispersed tribes of Israel, who were ejected from their regions becoming settlers in foreign territories?
Christ’s brother who most likely followed Jesus later in life was now comforting those who were establishing their lives in Christ while far from familiarity. God helped James recognize their need to remember Christ’s ways and to respond to Holiness by activating faith by works through the help of Holy Spirit; after all, they were God’s temple and His Spirit dwelled within them. In so doing James was empowered to scribe a scroll of encouragement, rebuke, and direction.
Let’s start in Luke 22:28-30 for a moment. This is fast becoming a favorite portion of scripture.
Jesus says to His disciples, “You are those who have stood by Me in My trials; and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Jesus is acknowledging and expressing gratitude towards the men and women who for 3 years stood by Him as He passed through temptations embedded with enticement into wicked works. No, He never submitted nor opened the door within Himself. He remained faithful to His Father, never allowing an adulterous relationship with the world’s ways to find room in Him.
Jesus, the Son of God was expressing thanksgiving towards each of them. Maybe the disciples were not perfect every time in their support, but with what they had they stood with God!! Wow! For such a friendship they were given place at His Table. What would they be eating and drinking? How would they judge the 12 tribes of Israel?
In Luke Jesus is expressing the pain and victory found through His obedience unto maturity – perfecting process. Now in James Christ’s brother is encouraging the tribes to overcome as they pass through such temptations. Within this book one can see the connection between Luke 22 and the incredible way to live a life of victory. As I ponder I can feel the expression of Christ’s thankful heart towards His disciples being passed down to His inheritance found within the hearts of humankind.
This book is such an expression of Gods love for the tribes. This is such an expression of James’ service towards his Brother Jesus. This is such an opportunity for the 12 tribes, and us, to enter into the sufferings of Jesus and OVERCOME.
Let’s take it one step further for a moment.
Jesus who was previously abiding within the heart of His Father was released from His bosom and the throne room (heaven), being sent to His Father’s Footstool (earth) to walk the earth being shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace. He would be the Word made flesh, revealing/being the full gospel message. Now the twelve tribes of Israel were removed from their familiar territories, sent out into the gentile regions carrying within themselves an opportunity to build God’s Kingdom bringing the message of the Gospel to their families and new gentile acquaintances. They had opportunity to accept and activate those feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
Even as Jesus remained true to His Father, He was Light on James’ path of life. Now James was that for hundreds if not thousands of people.
In our world and time, to reminisce about those who have stood and warred with us through our trials causes gratitude to bubble up. There is also always opportunity for us to accept the challenge of not growing weary in well doing as we stand with those who are facing difficult trials — temptations.
This book of James (1-5), authored by Christ’s brother, is filled with Kingdom structures ready to be acted upon. A ‘washing in the Word.’ Empowered in confident humility and strength. This book gives opportunity to evaluate personal and regional harvest fields. May the fire of the Lord continue to burn all that is waste, keeping only that which is fit to be called the fruit of the harvest fit for the King.