Brothers | Shaped | How do you see Jesus?
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ… (James 1:1)
Before we can appreciate this verse, we must recognize the identity of the author. James was the half-brother of the Lord Jesus Christ. Imagine growing up with Jesus as your older brother! Mary: “Who left this bread out? Of course it wasn’t Jesus. Was it you, James?” Joseph: “You boys quiet down in there! Jesus is right, whatever He said.” Teachers: “Why aren’t you boys more like your big brother? He always had his assignments done on time. Got straight A’s too.” So, it couldn’t have been easy trying to live up to the Son of God. In fact, despite sharing a room with Him their entire childhood, Jesus’ siblings didn’t believe Who He was until after He rose from the dead. Imagine the guilt: “Wow, He really was right all those times!”
That’s the James who penned the book we are about to study. He had been a religious legalist, going through the motions of serving God while rejecting the very presence of God right in front of him. We can be a little like James. Instead of true heart discipleship, we substitute checking a list, learning the lingo, or surrounding ourselves with Christian activities. We hang crosses on our walls, listen to KXOJ, or get involved in a church while rejecting the very presence of God and His word. James had invented His own god who looked nothing like His brother. Then His eyes were opened and He became one of Jesus’ most devoted followers. Big brother Jesus became Lord God Jesus when James was willing to see Him for who He really is.
Final Thought: How do you see Jesus? Religious figure? Personal Genie? Or is He your Lord and Savior?
Prayer: Lord, I shouldn’t call you that unless I mean it. Have I redefined you? Am I willing to see you as you really are? Open my eyes the way you opened James’ eyes so I will know whether I’m a religious legalist or a true disciple. Amen.