A powerful seed

I was reading this last week about James, the half-brother of Jesus. The history tells us that James and Jude were both half-brothers of Jesus, but neither became followers of His way until after His resurrection.

A profound thing was revealed to me in reading about the impact Jesus had on people. Just like James and Jude, many people hear and learn from what they hear, but it does not sprout until later.  We know from scripture that James and Jesus other brothers and sisters were around as he taught, but the powerful seeds were received and became evident later.  Here is a great example of how James remembered some of the most powerful teachings of Jesus and paraphrased them in the book of James. Check these out.

James Jesus
James
1:2
2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, Matthew
5:10-12
10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
James
1:4
4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Matthew
5:48
48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
James
1:5
5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. Matthew
7:7-12
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! 12 “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want [h]them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
James
1:22
22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. Matthew
7:21-27
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”
James
4:11-12
11 Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor? Matthew
7:1-5
1“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
James
5:1-3
1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! Matthew
6:19-21
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Isn’t it amazing that James is passionate about the foundational principles he overheard his brother teaching? The book has always seemed clear and wise to me and the strange thing that I come to realize is that James never talks about the cross at all. Even though he most likely lived through the ordeal from a distance. The book of James has been deemed the proverbs of the new testament, but it is the wisdom of Jesus that is shared. The strange aspect is that James takes the words as his own. This is a unique book that really allows us to understand that seeds planted can grow into a strong and fruitful plant.

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