Acts 15:13—After they stopped speaking, James responded: “Brothers, listen to me!”
Does it surprise you that the leader in the church after Jesus returned to heaven was not one of the eleven apostles? Wouldn’t it seem like the requirement for membership to the Jerusalem Council would be three years of faithful service under the Master? If Jesus said He would build His church upon the rock, and that rock was Peter (Mat. 16:18), why was James the one who rendered judgment as the leader of the Council (15:19-21)?
James grew up with Jesus! He watched his older Brother closely. He never saw Jesus throw a temper tantrum, talk back to His parents disrespectfully, unmercifully tease him and his brothers and sisters, lust after hot girls, make shoddy furniture, complain about having to go to the synagogue, throw rocks at Romans, or refuse to eat what Mary prepared. He heard Jesus pray with depth and sincerity. He watched his Brother devour scripture and seriously question the actions of those who should know better. Maybe he resented the fact that his Brother was the center of attention and the One with all the best answers. Consider, if he accused Jesus of always being right, He wasalways right! Perhaps he was jealous that Jesus could work miracles. Is it surprising that he doubted his Brother was God’s Son (John 7:5)? After all, he lived with Him long enough to take His actions and attitudes for granted. Imperfect naturally misunderstands Perfect.
Yet at some point the younger son of Mary and Joseph recognized truth. When he became his Brother’s follower, he brought understanding to the team that even the apostles lacked. No doubt they often sat around and asked James what it was like growing up with the Messiah. When James spoke about Jesus, his words had the weight of time, close proximity and true brotherly love. The One who surely carved him toys eventually captured his heart.
Why wouldn’t God shepherd His church with the Shepherd’s own brother! When James spoke, the church listened. I can’t wait to meet him and get the inside edition of life growing up with the Savior!
Can anything be added to the conception of being with Christ?—C.S. Lewis in The Weight of Glory
©2012 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)