We will begin the book of James this weekend. I am praying that this study will be a blessing to all of our hearts. This book is very relevant to each of us since it was written to those who were passing through times of sorrow, suffering and tribulation. Since we also live in difficult times this book will prove to be a great comfort and encouragement to each of us. The following comments are from the Ray Stedman’s book on James. This is a part of the introduction that I will be sharing with you on Sunday. Please pray with me that this study will bless our hearts and give us a blueprint on how to live our lives in a fallen world.
“Eusebius tells us that in about the year 66 A.D., James the Just, the brother of our Lord, was pushed off this pinnacle by the Jews who had become angered with him for his Christian testimony. Eusebius says that the fall did not kill him, and that he managed to stumble to his knees to pray for his murderers. So they finished the job by stoning him to death, and he joined the band of martyrs.
Now it is very evident that this letter was written during the early part of the life of the church. It comes out of that period reflected in the book of Acts, and may therefore be the earliest Christian document that we have, written perhaps even before the gospels of Mark or Matthew.
You cannot read this letter of James without being struck by its likeness to the teaching of Jesus; in fact, if you take the Sermon on the Mount, and the letter of James, and lay them side by side, you'll see more than a dozen exact parallels. So, it is quite evident that this man James listened to the Lord Jesus and heard these messages, even though perhaps he struggled with them at the time. Also, this letter, more than any other letter in the New Testament, is characterized, like the teaching of the Lord himself, by figures of speech taken from nature. You have the waves of the sea, the animal kingdom, the forests, the fish, and others, all drawn from nature, just as the Lord Jesus himself used to do.”
May the Lord bless you all,
Yours in Christ,