James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings. (James 1:1)
I find it interesting that as James was writing his epistle, he never reminded us that he was the Lord’s half-brother. Instead he began by introducing himself as “James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (James 1:1). That is an interesting description for a man who was the half-brother of Jesus.
If I were writing a letter and happened to be related in any capacity to Jesus, I certainly would bring that up, wouldn’t you? Talk about name dropping. We live in a time when everyone is talking about famous people and celebrities. Anyone who is even remotely connected to someone famous has a story or two to tell.
Needless to say, the father of Jesus was not Joseph. God is the father of Jesus, who was supernaturally conceived in the womb of Mary. Yet Jesus was physically born, and He lived in the home of Mary and Joseph for His formative years. The Bible clearly teaches that He did have other brothers and sisters.
In fact, it’s interesting to note that neither James nor any of Jesus’ other siblings believed in Him prior to His resurrection. At one point in His ministry they came to take Him home, thinking He had taken leave of His senses. John tells us, “For even His brothers did not believe in Him” (John 7:5). His own brothers had not really accepted that Jesus was the Messiah.
This shows us that even living a perfect and flawless life is not necessarily enough to convince someone of the truth of the gospel. After all, who lived a more perfect life than Jesus? He never once sinned in any capacity. It reminds us that sometimes the hardest people to reach are those who are the closest to us, especially our family.
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