dave brisbin | 11.29.16
James Series 1: James, the brother of Jesus, the man who led the early Jerusalem church for the first thirty years after the crucifixion was the pillar of the Eastern Church and yet is relatively unknown in the West. Western tradition portrays Peter as the head of the early Jewish followers of Jesus, but the East has always maintained James in that position. The book that bears his name was quite possibly a catechism for early Jewish followers and converts and is beautiful in its clarity and brevity and focus on the big questions as well as the essential details of life. Moving nearly verse by verse, we’ll take a look at how James led his brother’s followers through those first difficult years, trying to follow Jesus’ Way through persecution from both Jewish and Roman authorities. 

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And because of that persecution and the religious and cultural upheaval of trying to follow Jesus and Judaism at the same time, it’s no coincidence that the first issue James addresses is that of suffering—of how we are to face the trials and difficulties of life. But to count it all as joy when we are confronted with our challenges speaks to a necessity of the descent into brokenness that precedes the ascent into wisdom and reward. James is telling us there is a beauty to brokenness that we must understand if we’re really to take any further steps along the Way.

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