What would it have been like to grow up with your older brother being Yeshua? He had to be Mom’s favorite, right? Dad always made time for him and answered his every question. Next, to him the rest of us were so … blah.
No wonder Jesus’ brothers were reluctant to become followers, even as their mother did. My big brother, the superstar. Let him wander around the country; we have real work to do.
Have you wondered what Jesus did for 15 years before he started his ministry? Most often, we paint the picture of Jesus working in the shop to help feed a struggling family, especially after Joseph died.
A carpenter, even today, is a skilled labor position. The income is middle class, then and now. What most people overlook is that for most of Jesus’ 30 years at home, the Roman city of Sepphoris was under construction just five miles away. Just like skilled labor today, Joseph would have gone where there was work. A five-mile walk was not even part of the consideration. It was nothing. [Richard A. Batey, Jesus & the Forgotten City]
The point is that James and the other siblings would have grown up hearing Jesus say things that stunned adults, but as children would have thought he was just showing off.
Now James is sixty-plus years old, the head of the Jerusalem church—really the head of all Christianity—and he writes, Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. MSG Preach with your feet. James came to understand what Jesus was all about. It may have taken the cross to stun him, but he became the equal of Peter and Paul.
It is not enough to graduate from Liberty U and talk the talk. What have you done for the poor, the suffering, the downtrodden, the conflicted, the misunderstood, the OTHER? Have you built yourself a palace or have you helped people make their way in this world just a little easier? Do you give a regular amount to famine relief, thinking you have done your duty? Have you given less for famine relief than for music downloads?
As my Dove candy wrapper has it, Throw kindness around like confetti! Molly B. Kansas
Read my earlier comments on this theme here.
Be righteous and do good.