A Brother’s Wisdom 82

There are three basic approaches to suffering: violent reaction, passive absorption, or the Jesus-following alternative of living aright while waiting for God to bring about justice. James prefers the third option, so it seems to me. Notice the emphasis on God’s just judgment that is coming in 5:7-9: Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s [Read More...]

A Brother’s Wisdom 81

We turn the corner now in our study of the letter of James from the angle of James absorbing and passing on the wisdom of his brother, Jesus. James 5:7-11: Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he [Read More...]

A Brother’s Wisdom 80

Once again, James draws us into the world of Jesus. James 5:6 reads: “You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.” A more literal reading, here quoting from the NASB, tells a different story: “You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you.” The NIV [Read More...]

A Brother’s Wisdom 79

James personifies with a vivid imagination, something he perhaps learned from Jesus or one of the prophets. Here are the words of James, from 5:1-6: Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord [Read More...]

A Brother’s Wisdom 78

The words of James 5:1-6 are strong words, some of the strongest criticism of the rich in the entire Bible, and they are addressed at the rich for their oppression of the poor. Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and [Read More...]

A Brother’s Wisdom 77

A case can be made that the two most socially revolutionary passages in the New Testament are (1) Mary’s Magnificat in Luke 1:69-75 and (2) James’ potent criticism of the rich farmers in James 5:1-6. I quote James 5 in full: Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is [Read More...]

A Brother’s Wisdom 76

James doesn’t mince his words into small bits that can be digested easy; he’s on the prowl here because he finds the sin of presumption as arrogance. Here are the words from James 4:13-17: Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry [Read More...]

A Brother’s Wisdom 75

Instead of presuming on the future James advocates a providential approach to our future. Here are his words: Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What [Read More...]

A Brother’s Wisdom 74

James assaults the hybris of the traveling merchants for their presumption, and his response to them is to consider the brevity of life (James 4:13-17). Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not [Read More...]

A Brother’s Wisdom 73

The sin of presumption, the sin of thinking our future is in our hands and within our grasp, irks James. Here are the words of James 4:13-17 again:  Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, [Read More...]


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