I. INTRODUCTION OF THE EPISTLE OF JAMES
The meaning epistle is the letter kind of biblical language. Instead of using the letters the bible called it epistle like: James epistle, peter epistle, Paul epistle etc. So we called it epistle of James. Epistle of James consist 5 chapters which is relatively very short letter. This letter was written by James, he was the younger brother of Jesus. After the birth of Jesus, Marry and Joseph had 4 sons and daughters. We don’t know how many daughters but it used in plural. It proved by Mt.13: 35-56. That indicates Jesus had 4 physical brothers and sisters. When bible writes the names, always the oldest comes first and the next comes second and so on. In view of that, James comes first, second Joseph, Simon, and Judas. Actually these brothers were not biological brothers of Jesus. They were legal brother and sister of Jesus. It is because actually Joseph and Marry were not the parents of Jesus. They were legal parents of Jesus. They were not biological parents of Jesus. God just borrow marry womb for 10 months to incarnate Jesus into total human form. The Holy Spirit conceives Jesus inside the Mary’s womb, so actually no blood connection to marry or Joseph. As a result they were not biological parents of Jesus however, legal parents. Those brothers and sisters were nothing to do with biological connect with Jesus.
During the 33 years life of Jesus on earth, those brothers and sisters did not believe Jesus as the son of God. They even did not believe as messiah or Christ what so ever. Messiah is the Old Testament Hebrew terminology for Christ. The meaning of messiah is Christ. Christ is the one who anointed in Old Testament time. There are three special people who received the anointment.
3. High priest
The purpose of anointment is to set aside a person for god’s ministry. So all these three kinds of anointed person job was to proclaim the real anointed God called messiah. So messiah will be the real anointed being. This messiah in the New-testament called in Greek word ‘Christ’ ‘Christos’. That meaning messiah equal Christ same meaning. When Jesus appeared he did not say. I am the messiah or Christ but later time of his ministry he acknowledge himself that he is the messiah and Christ. So Jesus carried three functions. Prophetic function, High priest function and king function.
These brothers of Jesus even did not acknowledge Jesus as messiah or Christ. They even opposed Jesus and his ministry. During the three years public ministry (Jn 7:5). Among those four brothers, James was the leader, simply because he was the older brother. Big brother. He was the one who comforted his mother when Jesus was crucified. But those brothers did not care about Jesus’ death. They thought that his death was due to his fault. Nothing to do with family matters, because they realized that during the three years public ministry their brother Jesus had performed many miracles. They notice their big brother Jesus had been acting abnormal behavior in many aspects. So those brothers treated Jesus as special character person. Not as a normal human being. But they did not believe Jesus is the son of God. Treated him as special person and later on they realized the fact that he was born out of virgin mother not receive any blood from their father Joseph. So their relationship was not that intimate relation. Even Jesus did not mention about his brothers during his ministry. It indicates that their relationship was not that much closed. And however after the resurrection of Jesus those brothers got so surprise and later they accepted Jesus as messiah and Christ. Their mother Mary most have told them about the mysterious birth of Jesus she most has told them that Jesus is the son of God not their brother. So they noticed physical resurrection and the Holy Spirit inspire them to accept their brother as son of God messiah and Christ especially the James was the most responsive to the claim and he became the strong believer of Jesus after the resurrection. James joined twelve disciple of Jesus. Those disciples of Jesus accepted James to the discipleship group, although he was not the official 12 disciples of Jesus. As a outsider he joined the official leadership group. Even Peter acknowledges James as his leader although he was the late comer on the basis of the fact that he was the brother of resurrected lord Jesus. So James was the top leader among the 12 disciples.
During the 40 days after resurrection, there were about 600 new Christians who believed Jesus as savior and the son of God. (1st cor15:1-9) among them 12 disciple including James, during the 40 days before his assent ion, on the 40 days before his ascension on the 40 days he ascended at the end of the 40 days he gave his disciples and about 600 people (Acts 1:8)and commanded them do not leave Jerusalem. You have to pray for Holy Spirit, the paracletos, but actually 120 obey what Jesus commended. Only 20% out of six hundred people, they have been praying for 10 days on the 50th day they received the promised Holy Spirit. Now on the 50th day 120 received Holy Spirit out of them 3000 received Jesus as savior. This Holy Spirit is different from Pneuma holy spirit. During these 10 days they already received Pneuma holy spirit. Pneuma spirit is a saving spirit dwell in our heart. When we accept Jesus we cannot invite Jesus into our heart because physically Jesus is too big his spirit. so his spirit is Pneuma spirit Jesus spirit into us we became a Christians. Jesus said, “I am going to give you “another” spirit. Bible says another in Greek Allos. Jn 14:16. Greek word allows means exactly the same. Same quantity, same quality and same substance but in different form. This John 14 was the last supper he promised on the day of last supper he promised his disciples that “I am going to give you another (allos) Holy Spirit. Now, these people had received Pneuma Holy Spirit during the 40 days. On the 50th day I will give you another Holy Spirit. How we know that? Act 1:4. 43 days ago he promised to his disciples that don’t leave Jerusalem I will give you the promised H.S. 120 obeyed out of 600. They waited for 10 days on the 50th days they received the promised Holy Spirit which is Para Cletus. This Para Cletus is nothing to do with the saving. It is enabling spirit. Same Holy spirit but works differently. Why we need Para Cletus ? (Acts 1: 5,8).
Baptism of the H.S. receiving only pneuma is nothing to do with the Baptism of the H.S. receiving of the para cletos. Jesus said, you are baptize with the H.S.. can you see the difference here? Another word saving is not enough. Once you saved by pneuma you need to receive power. Here verse 8(…) but you shall received power when the H.S. has come upon you. This H.S. is paracletos. For what purpose? To witness Jesus from Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the entire world. Not only your own tribe but all the people on the earth. That is the will of God. The purpose of giving paracletos.
Why Iam doing the ministry serving non Korean because of this. If I only serve Korean my ministry will be very easy. Like you people how many nation representatives here? 12 nations its not easy but I have to do it. Its your job too. You Pilipino you only enjoy with your Philipino? That’s not the will of God. Out of you, you extend your ministry to other tribes (Acts 1;8) =20%
Christian foundation member of Jerusalem church. James was one of them. However, he was not the original disciples of Jesus. He was kind of outsider in the church. But Peter and other members of the disciples respected James. Although he was not a member of the disciples Jesus (Lk 6:13-16) He opposed Jesus Jn 7:5 . he became Christian after resurrection (I Cor 15:7). Later 12 disciples appointed him as the high leader in Jerusalem church (Act 11:21-30; 12:17; 15:6-29;21:17-23; Galatians 1:18-20; 2:11-12) all these bible reference shows about the James background relation to 12 disciples of Jesus.
Later even St.Paul acknowledges the leadership of James. When he visited Jerusalem, He visited James first to pay respect. After the Paul’s first missionary journey, between 46-48, he had some relational problem with 12 disciples. Paul was not the original member of the Jerusalem church. In fact he was one of the persecutors towards Jerusalem church members. Paul participated in the killing of Stephen in the Jerusalem church. 12 disciples did not like Paul because Paul’s name was spread all over Jerusalem as the Christian killer. So 12 disciples were afraid of Paul and hated him. In AD35 when he was 30 years old he convert 10 years after AD 45 he was appointed as assistance pastor in Antioch Church and one years later he took the first Missionary Journey for 2 years AD 46-48. He visited southern Turkey including Galatia, it is not the city it is a region. Paul was preaching to those Christian in Galatia. Before Paul arrival there were many former Jerusalem church members, who received the Gospel from 12 disciples lived in Galatia. When Paul visited there, he meets that Jewish Christian from Jerusalem church, who are living there. Paul shared the gospel of ‘Grace’ with them .he said by the grace of Jesus and by faith in Jesus by grace and faith we will saved. Paul massage was strongly challenged those existing christen there. His massage was challenged to those Jerusalem (background) trained Christian. Because these Christian was were taught by 12 disciples when they were in Jerusalem and even in Galatia. Their teaching was:- you will be saved by faith + observing the OT laws. The OT Laws observance came to top priority for ‘salvation’ requirement. When Paul preached the new salvation principle the grace and faith, those really angry and oppose at Paul’s teachings. Blaming him that he is teaching hierarchy. When Paul came back from first missionary journey in AD 48 in Antioch mother church he already heard bad news from Galatia and Jerusalem. Jerusalem 12 disciples got very upset about Paul’s teachings. They did not have a good impression of Paul from the beginning. Now, teaching wrong gospel against their teaching. So Paul and Barnabas have to visit Jerusalem to explain their theological position before the 12 disciples which is in Acts 15 story. (..)
When Paul and Barnabas arrived in Jerusalem, peter was so angry at them. ( you know Peter character) but James said you guys keep quiet, let me find some resolution on this issues. James was top Bishop among the 12 disciples and was the chairman among the 12 disciples. James came with the godly resolution on these disputed theological matters. James officially acknowledges Paul after the meeting. This story can tell that James was the very influential leader although he was a late comer. This was the introductory background when we start the epistle of James.