James talked about enduring trials, but what kinds of trials was James talking about? I found this in Hebrews and thought that it was applicable to what we are discussing. It is important for us to understand that faith results in actions. Sometimes these actions are quite sever. However, going through these trials build us up in Christ and gives us the endurance needed to run our race well. Below is a table that shows some people in the Old Testament who were tested.
Two things of note. First, in Hebrews 11:29 the author briefly mentions when Israel crossed the Red Sea. Now something that may be overlooked in the casual reading of this little verse… each individual had to make a decision to trust God and pass through the waters. Any one who would have stayed behind, even though they would be “elect” of God would have died at the hands of Egypt (the World system). Those who truly believed God and used that faith to move forward were spared death. Without faith in God they would have never moved.
Second is the entirety of Hebrews 11:35-40 shows the trials that others before us have had to go through. These things they endured not only demonstrated their faith, but; gave a benefit for us. Without these martyrs we would not have examples of what faith looks like in action. We would not have the benefit of being able to trust in the Lord without seeing the faithfulness of God in their sufferings. We could even go so far as to say that without the trials of the faithful who have gone before us, we would not know God. Why then do we go through trials.
|Abraham||Offered Isaac in obedience of faith and trust in God|
|Isaac||Blessed Jacob and Esau’s future trusting the promise of God|
|Jacob|| When dying Blessed his sons future trusting the promise of God|
|Joseph||Commanded his bones be brought out of Egypt; believing God|
|Moses’ Parents||Hid him 3 months without fear|
|Moses||Refused to be a son of the Pharaoh’s daughter|
|Moses||Kept the Passover in obedience through faith|
|Moses and Israel||Passed through the Red Sea in obedience through faith|
|Joshua and Israel||Fell the Walls of Jericho by obedience to the Lord|
|Rehab||Received mercy salvation|
|Through Faith||Various Judges||Subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, etc… all through obedience in faith|
Take some time this week to search out these examples and see what these saints did because of their faith. If we believe that Jesus is the Lord and stand in that faith, then we will receive trials. Trials are a good thing. Trials help us to grow and mature in our faith. Trials help us to trust more on the Lord and his promises. Trials help others to trust in the Lord and give an opportunity for others to learn how to respond in trials, and to encourage their own faith and endurance.
Brother of Jesus, Leader of the Church of Jerusalem
James the brother of Jesus was not a believer of Jesus as the
Son of God until after Jesus was resurrected.
James was a devout man who was also known as James the Just. Clement of Alexandria and Hegsippus both
wrote epithets that refer to James as the Just. He was a devout man who
demanded the respect of both Christian and Jewish leaders.
Once converted, James is believed to have worked, in the
early church at Jerusalem, with the Apostle Peter (Cephas). The Encyclopedia Britannica explains the
James the brother of Jesus may have been a natural fill-in for the martyr James
of the son of Zebedee (Acts 12:2). James appears in the book of the Acts of the
Apostles to have been an influential member of the church Council in Jerusalem. Paul the Apostle received council from James
when he returned to Jerusalem. Paul
lists James and Cephas at pillars of the church in Jerusalem. Peter also when he had been released from
Prison in Acts 12 told them to go and tell James. Peter’s singling out of James puts an emphases
of the importance of James to the church in Jerusalem.
James died around 62 A.D.
Christian Historians put his death in Jerusalem where he was martyred
for his faith in Jesus as the Son of God.
Eusebius, a 4th Century Christian and historian chronicles 3
different sources of the death of James.
Clement of Alexandria, Hegesippus, and Josephus all have a different
version of the martyrdom of James.
Hegesippus’ version is the one Eusebius judges as most correct.
- AND now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus
into Judea, as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood,
and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also
himself called Ananus. Now the report goes that this eldest Ananus proved a
most fortunate man; for he had five sons who had all performed the office of a
high priest to God, and who had himself enjoyed that dignity a long time
formerly, which had never happened to any other of our high priests. But this
younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was
a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the
Sadducees, who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews,
as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition,
he thought he had now a proper opportunity [to exercise his authority]. Festus
was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrin
of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ,
whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when
he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered
them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the
citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they
disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa], desiring him to
send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done
was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was
upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for
Ananus to assemble a sanhedrin without his consent. (24) Whereupon Albinus
complied with what they said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that
he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa
took the high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months, and made
Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest. [i]
Tradition holds that James was brought to the temple and
confronted on whether he believed that Jesus was the messiah. James’ stance of belief that Jesus was indeed
the Son of God infuriated the Sanhedrin and James was pushed of a high place of
the Synagogue and then stoned. It is
reported that James prayed for his attackers in the same way that Jesus did, “Father
forgive them, they know not what they do.”
Then his head was caved in by a club.
James the brother of Jesus had once doubted Jesus as the
messiah. He probably felt at one time
that he was crazy and was ashamed to call him his brother. This James who believed and followed the Law
of Moses to the last dash and the last dot of ink had given his life for his
belief. A belief that Jesus is indeed
the Son of God who takes away the sins of the world.
on James.” Dr. Beth Elise Whitaker, 11 Apr. 2013,