Page 1821 ( Life Application Bible )
' NIV Version '
Jesus singled out three of his 12 disciples for a special training. James, his brother John, and Peter made up this inner circle. Each eventually played a key role in the early church. Peter became a great speaker. John became a major writer, and James was the first of the 12 disciples to die for the faith.
The fact that his name is always mentioned before John’s indicates that James was the older brother. Zebedee, their father, owned a fishing business where they worked along with Peter and Andrew. When Peter, Andrew, and John left Galilee to see John the Baptist, James was as eager as his partners to follow.
James enjoyed being in the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples, but he misunderstood Jesus’ purpose. He and his brother even tried to secure their role in Jesus’ kingdom by asking Jesus to promise them each a special position. Like the other disciples, James had a limited view of what Jesus was doing on earth, picturing only an earthly kingdom that would overthrow Rome and restore Israel's former glory. But above all, James wanted to be with Jesus. He had found the right leader, even though he was still on the wrong timetable. It took Jesus’ death and resurrection to correct his view.
James was the first of the 12 disciples to die for the gospel. He was willing to die because he knew Jesus had conquered death, the doorway to eternal life. Our expectations about life will be limited if this life is all we can see. Jesus promised eternal life to those willing to trust him. If we believe this promise, he will give us the courage to stand for him even during dangerous times.
Strengths and accomplishments:
Weaknesses and mistakes:
Two outbursts from James indicate struggles with temper (Luke 9:54) and selfishness (Mark 10:37). Both times, he and his brother, John, spoke as one
Lesson from his life:
" Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. ‘Teacher,’ they said, ‘we want you to do for us whatever we ask.’ ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ he asked. They replied, ‘Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory’ " ( Mark 10:35 - 37 ) .
James’s story is told in the Gospels. He is also mentioned in Acts 1:13 and 12:2.
Note: < " James, the first of the 12 disciples to die for the gospel. " >
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" . . . out of his heart will flow rivers of living water . "
( John 7 : 38 )
( John 7 : 38 )