After growing up as an only child, I never understood what it was like to have siblings. There was no one to share a room with or battle for control of the TV. There were no comparisons to an older brother or sister by teachers at school. There was no sibling to bother my friends and no sibling’s friends to bother. Having two kids of our own has been an eye-opening experience. Sometimes one would defend the other. Sometimes one had to be separated from the other. There were agreements and disagreements, both of which could be intense. There is frustration and love, silence and laughter. Many of you have experienced the same things.
As we finish the first chapter of James this Sunday morning, it is a good time to remember who wrote this book: the brother of Jesus. We talked a little bit the first week about what it might have been like to grow up with a brother who clamed to be the Son of God only to figure out in adult life that He actually IS the Son of God. That is one thing that makes the writing of James so worthwhile to us. James himself took a journey of faith. He did not start out as a believer, but he definitely ended up there. He wants us to journey into a faith that acts.
I believe that one of the major themes in his book is one of the big reasons why he believed in his brother. Jesus did not just say. He did. Think of how many sibling disagreements Jesus must have reacted to by being a peacemaker. How many times did He go the second mile or turn the other cheek? Even though James was slow to grow into full faith, He knew that Jesus was a person who practiced what He preached. That must have been one of the many reasons that James came to believe what seemed to be impossible: his brother is his Messiah.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. – James 1:22

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