Tuesday 04 February 2020

Bible Book:

Let the believer who is lowly boast in being raised up (v. 9)

James 1:1-11 Tuesday 4 February 2020

Psalm: Psalm 127


There’s no certainty about which James wrote this epistle but tradition suggests he was Jesus’ half-brother (one of Mary’s sons). He was not a believer while Jesus was alive but could have been part of the group Jesus appeared to in the upper room on the first Easter day.

If that’s the case, James would have been with the disciples and heard Jesus teaching in the days between the resurrection and ascension. The Acts of the Apostles says (1:1-3) that Jesus “appeared to them over a period of 40 days and spoke about the kingdom of God”.

This would have been James’s crash course in the faith and there is an echo in the epistle of Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount (see Sunday).

Jesus pointed to ways in which human experience did not define a person. Being faithful while poor in spirit, meek or in mourning (Matthew 5:3-5) were reasons God would bless followers.

Here, James does the same. But how could someone who was lowly, meaning poor, rejoice? Simply because they were one of God’s chosen people. It wasn’t about circumstances but certainty in the God who had raised Jesus from the dead and begun to build a people of faith.

The joy James calls for from those who have been brought into the kingdom wasn’t just to be expressed in opposition to trials (v. 1) but in those trials. The trials were inevitable. The believer’s response was a choice.

So the outcome of being brought into the kingdom of God is a pride that God has intervened on our behalf and brought us into a new relationship with his son – whatever our material circumstances.


To Ponder

  • How can we be proud of God raising us up without exhibiting pride?
  • How should recognising we have been raised up affect our interaction with others?
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