When it comes to what being a follower of Jesus actually looks like, the New Testament letter James writes to the early Church is very practical. But who is James? Good Question! James was a son of Mary and Joseph, half-brother of Jesus and throughout his life a number of other things.
A Skeptic of Jesus – “Even his own brothers did not believe in him.” [John 7:5]. A Believer in Jesus – “Jesus appeared to James” and he believed.” [1 Cor. 15:7] A Church Leader – “Paul went to see James and all the Elders.” [Acts 2:18]
A Christian Martyr – Stoned to death in Jerusalem in 62 AD.
When reading New Testament documents like James, we tend to do so in chunks created by chapter breaks. Originally, the document had no chapter breaks because it was actually personal correspondence. Take time to read straight through James as if it were a letter written personally to you.
Take some time to ask God to reveal Himself to you through the book of James as you read. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you read and take a few moments when you are done to listen for what He would want to say to you.
What are a few key things that stand out to you in the letter?
Are there any statements James makes that genuinely feel like it’s written to/for you?
If you were to summarize his letter, what might you say was James’ main purpose in writing it?
Dear Lord, I pray that Jesus might be seen in and through my life every day. By the power of your Holy Spirit, may all I say and do be to your honor and glory AMEN.