James; the brother of Jesus Christ. An amazing character in the saga of the early Christian church. But James didn’t start out as an amazing man, but as a confused individual who knew nothing of God’s plan for his life.
James wasn’t a great leader at first. He didn’t believe in the person of Jesus Christ. He didn’t believe Jesus, his own brother. He thought Jesus was confused and mentally unstable. He was ashamed of how Jesus presented himself, and he couldn’t understand the motives behind Jesus’ work.
Jesus actually hints at James’ unbelief when Jesus says in Mark 6:4 (NLT), “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.”
James was a nobody, and the doubt in his heart kept him from seeing the amazing works that Jesus was performing daily among the Jews and gentiles. His doubt separated him from God, and that separation is an experience that is prevalent in many of us today. We are yearning for something, but we just can’t quite figure out what IT is. God calls us to put down the doubt, throw away the lack of faith and and let God pick you up from the ashes.
It took a while for James to realize this. Jesus’ death on the cross wasn’t enough, The rumors and eye witnesses of the apostles claiming they had seen the risen Jesus wasn’t enough.
But when Jesus appeared to James, he realized he was wrong the whole time. Jesus’ appearance to James isn’t in the gospels, but it is in 1 Corinthians 15:7 (NLT), Paul writes that Jesus “… was seen by James, and later by all the apostles.”
James went on to be the overseer of the Christian church in Jerusalem. He became an amazing leader, and ultimately was martyred for his belief in Jesus Christ as the messiah.
But now, we are full of doubt, as humans, we want to be able to see so we can believe. But nevertheless, God is still there with open arms. It doesn’t matter if we go to church every day, or have never stepped foot into one. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you’ve done, where you’ve been or how you’ve done it. God loves us all, and Jesus’ mercy is for all. God’s grace is stronger than doubt, and definitely larger than any sin you or I have ever committed.
If you want to learn more about God’s grace, I strongly recommend looking up Romans chapter 5, and if you want to ask me questions, ask me, and I’ll get in touch with you.