2013-09-28 - The Disciples ~ James
The Disciples Series ~ Part 3
Two men named James are listed in the accounts of Jesus' twelve disciples--James, son of Zebedee and James, son of Alphaeus. Today, we will consider the first James, the son of Zebedee. James was the brother of the Disciple John. The two were called by Jesus while they were fishing in a boat with their father, Zebedee. (Matthew 4:21-22). James' name means "Jacob," which has Old Testament significance. Along with Peter and John, James was part of Jesus' inner circle. The three were present at the healing of Jarius' daughter (Mark 5:37), the Transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36), and in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus asked the three to pray with Him (Matthew 26:37). We find an interesting story about James and John in Luke 9:51-55. The two were sent ahead by Jesus, to find provisions in a Samaritan village. When they encountered opposition, they asked Jesus for permission to call fire down from Heaven to destroy them. But Jesus turned down their request and rebuked them.
After Jesus' ascension into Heaven, James helped spread the Gospel. His main strength was his loyalty to Jesus and the Gospel. His weakness was rashness, as displayed in his rush to destroy the Samaritan village. James was the first Disciple to be killed. In Acts 12:1-2, we are told, "It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword." (NIV) James was martyred while following Jesus' instructions to "be my witness."
We, too, can follow James' example and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Series to be continued.
Richard Moser, Jr