December 29, 2019

James the Believer

Matthew 13:53-58; 1 Corinthians 15:1-7

I passed on to you . . . that Christ died for our sins . . . that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day . . . and that he appeared to . . . James. . . .

—  1 Corinthians 15:3-7

Jesus, the firstborn of Mary, had several younger brothers who were born to Mary and Joseph. During Jesus’ teaching ministry these brothers and many others from his hometown did not believe he was the Messiah, the promised Savior (John 7:5). On at least one occasion, his whole family wondered if Jesus might be insane, rather than truly the Messiah (Mark 3:20-21).

Then one day, after Jesus had died on the cross and had risen from the grave, he appeared to his brother James. We do not know the exact nature of that appearance, but we know that James became a believer.

James also became a leader of the early church in Jerusalem (Acts 15:13; Galatians 1:19). Later he wrote the New Testament book of James. This letter was written to encourage Jewish Christians who were scattered among the nations of the Roman Empire and being persecuted for their faith.

Do you believe in Jesus? Jesus appears to us clearly in God’s Word, the Bible. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see the truth that James saw. Jesus, the Son of God, was born a human being, died for our sins, and rose victorious over death; he is the Savior, Christ Jesus, our Lord. It’s not too late. Believe in him and let his life fill yours today!

Lord Jesus, some people have decided they have reasons not to believe in you. Show us from your Word who you are so that we may know you as the risen Lord and Savior. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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