This week’s Announcements
I’m New Here
Request Prayer
Give

TRANSCRIPT

Please Note: Text is automatically produced. Errors may be present.

hey well good morning everyone that’s good you know the first service did the same thing good morning I love it uh you know here we are memorial day weekend and I loved what how alex introduced memorial day I I love memorial day one because it’s kind of a kickoff to summer uh two yeah I do remember with gratefulness uh the cost that people paid for for us to be able to do this right now and I’m very grateful for that and there’s a third thing that I’m also very thankful for and that is as I am a citizen of God’s kingdom I think of the people that have come before us to be able to pave the way for our faith to be able to have something like this today to be able to have grown uh into the influence that it is in this world um you know I just have a a little uh home I guess home business here family business and that’s just to let you know that one of those folks who has meant so much to our fellowship here at south went home to be with the lord on friday night and her name was ann cresswell many of you may remember ann and neil they were here for many years involved in so many ways neil passed away about a year ago the thing I always remember about neil you know you just kind of wait on a sunday to see if he’d he’d invite you to go to the broncos game with him or or even if you were really special you get to go to the abs game with him and um you know it was interesting because I was talking to julie uh ann’s daughter on friday night she passed away about 6 30 and we were talking about it and and julie was able to say she passed away very peacefully and and she said you know I can just picture moms he’s up there seeing Jesus finally this is what she wanted and she was so looking forward to seeing dad again and then she paused and she said let’s wait it’s 6 30. you know dad’s probably watching the abs game right now and he’s saying why don’t you wait

who knows if you knew neil you know that uh we are going to be having her service uh next sunday afternoon at four o’clock right here at the church you’re all invited to come if you would like to uh you know this morning I’m going to be looking at one of those strong roots in our faith uh one of those characters who kind of paved the way and and I have to admit there’s not an awful lot written about this character um I’ve loved the series that alex has been doing of going through post-resurrection appearances so let’s take a look at what alex has looked at so far mary magdalene cleopas thomas peter and you know he’s done a great job with these alliterations darkness for mary magdalene you can just picture that shadow upon her uh clayopa says he and his companion are walking the road to emmaus just the defeat that they’re feeling thomas and we always know thomas for doubting and peter his despair knowing that he had denied his savior but Jesus reinvested in in peter as I thought about the character for the day I’ve tried to come up with a name another d and um you know as I think of these characters all of them were followers of Jesus christ

and they would have such disillusionment during that time of seeing that Jesus was crucified and what’s going to happen in the future now the character we’re going to look at today did not believe that Jesus was the messiah and yet the character we’re going to look at today was probably closer to Jesus than any of these followers on this screen um I’m going to go to a passage that paul talks about in first corinthians chapter 15. and I’m going to try I’m going to be jumping all over the place so I will try to give you the little address for these verses but also I’ll be plopping them up on the screen and to tell you the truth the verses don’t say that much so don’t you have something to look forward to okay first corinthians 15 paul says these words

he was buried he was raised from the dead on the third day just as the scripture said he was seen by peter and then by the twelve and after that he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time most of whom are still alive though some have died you know just think about that and we don’t have any recording of that in the bible outside of this but there was some time when Jesus met with 500 people after his resurrection and those 500 people all saw him in living faith that’s kind of amazing then he was seen by james and later by all the apostles and guess what the character we’re going to look at is james and those six words are basically the only description we have of this post-resurrection appearance you know when you think of mary magdalene you see her at the grave and you see how Jesus came and comforted her when you think of peter you think him by the fire and how Jesus reinstated him he was seen by james and that’s it and so we have to start with this question who’s this james who is james um now there are about three james’s in the new testament that are met there’s actually four but one of them kind of sneaks in there because it says joseph the son of james and that’s all we hear and so I just disregard him but the other three james’s one is james the son of alpheus one is james the son of zebedee and both of them are disciples of Jesus christ of Jesus um james the son of zebedee was a brother of john they were known as sons of thunder they would call fire down on people and stuff like that james the son of alpheus was known as james the lesser maybe he was shorter maybe he was younger we don’t know but both of them are disciples and look at what it says he was seen by peter and then by the twelve so they’re included in that group this james is some other james that comes out in the new testament so let me take you to a verse in matthew and uh you know alex is very good at explaining matthew is one of the biographies of Jesus his life we’ve got four biographies matthew mark luke and john each one of them focused upon Jesus but you know it’s so fascinating sometimes they look at the same events and it’s almost word for word sometimes they look at the same event you’re wondering is this the same event and you begin to realize they’re looking through different eyes at these events um hopefully we’re going to see some of that today but let’s uh let’s jump to matthew and see what he says he returned to nazareth his hometown this is Jesus when Jesus taught there in the synagogue everyone was amazed and said where does he get this wisdom and the power to do miracles and then they scoffed oh he’s just the carpenter’s son we know mary his mother and his brothers james oh james joseph simon and judas all his sisters live right here among us where did he learn all these things that’s the james we’re going to be looking at james the brother of Jesus and you know when you look at this and you realize wow Jesus had four brothers and it doesn’t even tell us the number of sisters just as all his sisters live here you know I don’t know about you but I’ve always kind of pictured Jesus family as that nice little nativity scene you know the three of them together and somewhere along the lines joseph dies and then it’s mary and Jesus but no it was this whole group in Jesus family um so let’s kind of take a look at the interaction that Jesus had with his family and to begin with I’m going to go back to the gospel of mark or to the biography that mark has of Jesus life and we’re going to go about maybe a year before this incident but it’s still in his hometown of nazareth here we go he returned to nazareth his hometown when he taught there in the synagogue oh you know what this is the same passage and I just wanted to point out the next verse the town was deeply offended and refused to believe him

the question I would ask us when we see that reaction of the town toward Jesus I wonder how easy it was to be in the family of Jesus I wonder what it was like I mean first you asked the question what’s it like to have Jesus as a brother but secondly he asked what’s it like to have Jesus in your family and he’s going around in this ministry and you’re seeing how the reactions are starting to come in well now we’re going to go to mark now we’re going to go about a year ahead and we’re going to go back to nazareth here’s what we’re going to see then Jesus mother and brothers came to see him they stood outside they sent word for him to come out and talk with them there was a crowd sitting around Jesus and someone said your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you this is one of those verses that gives a reference to the family of Jesus to the brothers and there’s I believe james is right there in the middle in fact when you look at that list james was the next one after Jesus so he probably was the oldest brother in this group right now as they’re going to go see Jesus all well and good they’re going to go see Jesus but 10 verses earlier we get a little insight into what’s motivating them to go you know I almost picture mary grabbing her boy and saying I think we need to go see Jesus across town he’s in a house over there here’s what we read earlier one time Jesus entered a house and the crowds began to gather again soon he and his disciples couldn’t even find time to eat and when his family heard what was happening they tried to take him away he’s out of his mind they said that’s a pretty harsh thing to say and I thought well maybe they might have said oh he’s just you know he’s being pressured too much he’s a little imbalanced but no the word means loony he’s he’s out of his mind he’s he’s lost his senses and I have to admit now I’m just speculating because we don’t have any other input into this but I’m speculating that mary did not think Jesus was out of his mind and the reason I speculate that is because mary had the inside scoop I mean she remembers gabriel coming to her and saying you have been chosen to give birth to the messiah your child is going to do this and this and and she treasured those things in her heart and I’m sure she had to wrestle with those things as well I kind of sense that mary may have said okay boys I I hear that your brother it might be a little bit in over his head let’s go and let’s go help him let’s go just to bring him home so he can have some rest and I can almost hear the brothers oh Jesus again you mean we’ve got to go rescue Jesus again

he’s he’s just pushing this thing too far mom he’s out of his mind he’s out of his mind well they take the journey across town and they come back to the house and we’re going to pick it up again in those verses we read earlier and someone said your mother your brothers are outside asking for you and Jesus replied who’s my mother who are my brothers then he looked at those around him and he said look these are my mothers and brothers anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother I don’t know about you but whenever I’ve read that verse I thought Jesus you’re being kind of hard on your family I mean they’re coming to see you they want to talk to you and you kind of just put them down

again I I speculate here but as I’ve been working on this this sermon it’s just been fascinating as I see this character james come alive more and more and I really believe what Jesus is saying here is my brothers don’t really believe God’s will for my life my brothers have really not accepted what God has made has called me to do to be the messiah

my family are those people who do believe who do step in there with me well I’m going to go about three chapters later and this is going to be a parallel passage to what we read in matthew earlier uh this is about a year later in Jesus ministry he’s back in nazareth and you’re going to say well these verses sound very similar let’s see Jesus left that part of the country returned with his disciples to nazareth his hometown the next sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue and many who heard him were amazed and they asked where did he get all such this wisdom and this power to perform such miracles and then they scoffed well he’s just a carpenter he’s the son of mary and the brother of james and joseph and judas and simon and his sisters live here right among us and they were deeply offended and they refused to believe in him now I don’t expect all of you to remember the exact verbiage that matthew used but the only difference between these two verses is in the first in matthew they said oh he’s just the carpenter’s son in this one they say oh he’s just a carpenter and and the town was offended by him

but what’s interesting interesting to me about this passage in mark are the next verses that come here’s how Jesus responds and Jesus told them a prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family and I read that and I realized wow Jesus brothers and sisters struggled with what he said he was to be about and they did not honor him and I can just see james right up there at the top of the list having a problem with Jesus let me just say what would it be like what would it be like to have Jesus as your brother think about that for a while we’re going to go to another passage there’s only like three passages that mention the family of Jesus and and and james would be in that family this is in john john’s biography in john chapter seven and this would be about six months maybe before Jesus is crucified so it’s kind of in that last year it’s toward the end of his ministry after this Jesus traveled around galilee he wanted to stay out of judeo where the jewish leaders were plotting his death but soon it was time for the jewish festival of shelters and Jesus brother said to him leave here and go to judea where your followers can see your miracles you can’t become famous if you hide like this if you can do all these wonderful things show yourself to the world so here’s the setting the festival of shelters of the festival of tabernacles is getting ready to happen in jerusalem and that’s when it was one of the three major festivals and as many jews as possible could come and they would just fill jerusalem and this was a very celebratory festival now the brothers are to go down there and you know as I read this I tried to read it as sincerely as I could but let me re-read it because I really think this is how they spoke these words leave here and go to judea where your followers can see your miracles you can’t become famous if you hide like this if you can really do such wonderful things well then hey it’s about time you show yourself to the world

and the reason I think that’s the case is because of the next verse for even his brothers did not believe in him so here you’ve got this scenario here is james and here are the three other brothers and they’re kind of chiding Jesus they’re taunting him they’re saying oh come on go down if you can do all these miracle workers that we that we hear about go and do it in jerusalem where everybody will watch

I wonder how that hurt

those are the three passages that we have about james and about the family of Jesus and you’re probably saying that’s not much it isn’t but it’s enough to show james does not believe in his brother james was cynical enough to taunt his brother james did not honor the calling that God had on his brother’s life but james was still his brother there’s one more passage that kind of gives us a little hint even though it doesn’t mention james or the other brothers and that’s found at the end of john it’s this standing near the cross where Jesus mother his mother’s sister mary the wife of clopas and mary magdalene and when Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved which would be john he said to her dear woman here’s your son and he said to this disciple here’s your mother and from then on this disciple took her into his home

two questions where’s

where james the other brothers and and you know when I ask that I can be kind of hard on them I would not want to stand at my brother’s crucifixion I love my brother so much and I idolized my brother

but I would tell you if my brother was dying or if a loved one of my brother was dying and my brother was in pain I’d be there I would be there to walk with him through that james is not there with Jesus james is not there with his mother and so you have this transfer when Jesus looks down and says john this is your mother now wow so I come to that question what’s so hard about being Jesus brother

what is so hard about having a brother who’s perfect

anybody want to take a stab at that one can you imagine can you imagine if you had a brother that was perfect now like I told you I idolized my brother in fact it makes me laugh it makes carrie laugh too but when I look back when I entered high school I tried to pattern my life after my brother he was four years older and I ran for student council I ran for this and that I did all and I played football just like my brother did when I went to college I did just like my brother did it kind of changed after that but um still I I really idolized my brother but boy what what if your brother was perfect and you had a mom who kept saying you know Jesus did it this way

that would wear after a while what if what if your brother or your sibling was like luke 2 52 Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people wow talk about a popularity I mean talk about being in the shadow of your brother

maybe a third reason what’s it like to have a sibling who leaves the family business for whatever this pipe dream is that he’s got and you’re left there trying to keep the carpentry shop open

I don’t know you know we can speculate about all of that

but let me give you one last verse it’s the verse that we went to in the very beginning in first corinthians 15 what changed it all he was buried he was raised from the dead on the third day just as the scripture said and then he was seen by james and later by all the apostles and that moment was a moment of the beginning of transformation

and I would just remind each and every one of us who’s sitting here and when I point at each of you I’ve got three pointing back at me to remind me Jesus came to us in our unbelief Jesus did not abandon us with our questions Jesus did not abandon us when we said no to him he was there and he was working in us and he was bringing about conviction and he was bringing about truth Jesus was there in our unbelief just like he came to james in his disbelief I think of an individual who’s been very impactful in my life and I think probably most of you would know this guy this fella but there may be some of you who don’t his name is charles coulson charles coulson was a rising star he was uh as a young man he studied law came out and had a very successful law practice and then he got involved in politics and he was a right hand to richard nixon during his administration and he was known as the hatchet man the hatchet man for richard nixon in other words he’s the guy that did all the dirty political tricks and he knows many times when we think of richard nixon’s administration that’s what we think of first and foremost we think of watergate and charles coulson was the mastermind of watergate of going and trying to steal these records from the democratic party he tried to defame and discredit so many others who were in the opposing side well finally things began to catch up with him things began to close in on him he got scared and he ended up leaving the administration he ended up quitting and he went back to law but things did not stop the news got tighter and tighter when he was back there in law he realized he didn’t know how much longer he would have he went to a friend’s house who he was uh preparing a court case for and while he was there he said boy I’m scared and this friend said well let’s talk and so we shared a little bit about how the how all the evidence was starting to mount up against him and his friend went over to his library picked up a book it was called mere christianity by c.s lewis and he opened it up to a chapter and he read the chapter to chuck colson and it was the chapter on the pride of man how pride can fill us and can kind of blind us to the actions we do and we can do horrible things the prouder and prouder we get and it can keep us from seeing the God who loves us and when he finished reading that chapter

he looked at colson and he said can I pray for you and chuck colson said no but I’ll take the book so he took the book and he left uh God had never been in a place in his life he got out he got in his car he drove out he didn’t make it much more than a mile when he had to pull off the road because his eyes were full of tears and he said he sat in that car and he wept for an hour and he wept and after a while of weeping he began to cry out to God he said God if you’re real God if you’re here in this room in this car please I surrender to you I don’t know how you can make anything out of the mess of my life I’ve made it but I surrender to you and I just ask you yeah do it

you look at this picture this picture was taken like eight months after he made that confession of faith eight months after he’d been a christian eight months later he was convicted of his crimes he was put into prison eight months later he was put into trial and you know because of what had happened in his life he realized he was guilty and he pleaded guilty and his lawyer said don’t do that you’re going to just impinge on everybody else but he pleaded guilty and he went into prison I show you this picture so you realize when Jesus christ enters our life it doesn’t erase the consequences of what we’ve done

but he sure walks with us into those consequences and helps us face him and to bring healing and restoration and the same is true of his brother the same is true of his brother who was cynical about him who taunted him who doubted him who did not believe in him who did not honor him who did not believe that God had a special purpose for him but when he revealed himself to james a transformation began taking place

you know I believe this next verse I’m going to show you probably happened about maybe 30 35 days after this verse because it took place right at the ascension when Jesus met with his disciples and he ascended up into heaven and then it says then the apostles returned to jerusalem from the mount of olives a distance of about a half a mile and when they arrived they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying they all met together they were constantly united in prayer along with mary the mother of Jesus several other women and the brothers of Jesus the brothers who cynically denied their brother they were now with the other disciples together they were praying united I believe that james went with that with that meeting that he had with Jesus and I don’t know what happened in that meeting all it says was Jesus appeared to james I’d kind of like to think Jesus went up and gave him a big hug I mean maybe he said surprise

but he gave him a big hug I don’t think he said do you believe now

no I think he said to him james I want you to be on my team

come follow me and james and his brothers are there in those initial days we’re going to jump around to some other verses but let me just say that just a few days after this on the day of pentecost it says that the 120 the same 120 that were here on this day the same 120 were in the upper room and the holy spirit came down upon them and I just pictured james going out in the street for the first time in his life talking about his brother in positive ways and sharing the truth of what his brother had done wow but there’s still some other verses afterwards what happened to james I mean what took place um and again they’re just inferences there’s nothing that really has a biography of james we don’t see any long passages but we see people referring to him and the first one we see is in the book of galatians and it’s from paul the apostle paul and basically he’s talking about after his conversion uh when he had that marvelous conversion on the road to damascus and then he went down into arabia for a while and then he came back and then it says he went down to jerusalem and this was probably about maybe six seven years after these verses on the ascension this is what we read three years later I went to jerusalem to get to know peter and I stayed within 15 days and the only other apostle I met at that time was james the lord’s brother all of a sudden james is an apostle wow this guy who was cynically denying Jesus now he’s an apostle there in jerusalem somebody else mentions james and it’s probably about four or five years later after this occurred and it was peter and if you read in acts chapter 12 right in the very beginning it tells us that there’s another james james the son of zebedee james the son of thunder who is executed king herod imprisoned him and executed him and he was so amazed at the popular outcry that the jews gave that he went out and arrested peter and he thought I’m going to do the same thing win a few points with these jews but that night the angel of the lord came and freed peter from that prison and peter walked out and it’s funny when you read it read acts chapter 12 sometimes because peter’s walking out there says man I don’t I don’t even believe what happened and he finally gets his senses and he walks over to where he knows some believers are and he knocks on the door and the little server girl comes and she looks through the the opening and she sees peter says oh my goodness he runs back because they’re having a prayer meeting praying that peter would be delivered from prison and she tells him and everybody looks and says you’re nuts and they’re praying that he’d be delivered and there he is finally if he convinces them to come to the door they come to the door and there’s peter and they’re all rejoicing and they’re excited and then peter comes and tells him everything about how he was delivered from prison and then peter says these interesting words tell james and the other brothers what happened tell james what happened isn’t it interesting the first person peter says is tell james james seems to be rising in some kind of importance going on here the cynical disbelieving brother I’m going to go back to another thing that paul said this is in galatians but paul has now gone on his first missionary journey he’s gone out there and all these gentiles have come and and believed in Jesus christ and and paul is left with kind of an issue because wow do you tell him hey you’re now following christ but you know he was jewish you got to be like the jews and there’s a lot of the jewish christians who are saying they need to be like us and paul says no no so he and barnabas go back to jerusalem this is what comes out in galatians in fact james peter and john who were known as pillars of the church recognized the gift God has given me and they accepted barnabas and me as their co-workers they encouraged us to keep preaching to the gentiles while they continued their work with the jews now notice james is not just an apostle he’s a pillar he’s a pillar in the church this guy is a leader now in the church in fact when you go to the passage it kind of expands this bigger it’s acts chapter 15. it talks about a council that they had and in that council that’s where paul and barnabas came and shared all the wonderful things that had happened among the gentiles let’s go there and look at this everyone listened quietly as barnabas and paul told about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done through them among the gentiles when they had finished james stood and said brothers listen to me peter has told you about the time God first visited the gentiles to take them from for people for himself and this conversion of gentiles is exactly what the prophets predicted as it is written and then he goes to verse after verse after verse after verse of the old testament scriptures saying how God was going to bring his truth to the world and then james the brother of Jesus the cynical brother who disbelieved says so it’s my judgment that we should not make it difficult for the gentiles who are turning to God

may I just point out we have a debt of gratitude to this guy because you’re gentiles I’m gentile we we are non-jews can you imagine if james hadn’t spoken up somebody else would have but james the disbelieving brother of Jesus had that kind of power where he spoke and the church followed um one last passage is found in chapter 21 of acts and basically paul now has traveled on three missionary journeys he’s come back to jerusalem with his report and here’s what comes when we arrived the brothers and sisters in jerusalem welcome to swirling the next day paul went with us to meet with james and all the elders of the jerusalem church were present after greeting them paul gave a detailed account of the things God had accomplished among the gentiles through his ministry paul went to meet with james and what we see is that over the years God transformed this unbelieving man to become the leader of the jerusalem church to step out and lead those people and to make definitive definitive statements that affect us today

well that’s the last mention of james and all those are short little passages well you know there is one more it’s called the epistle of james it’s called the book that he wrote and he wrote it to the jubilee but he wrote it to us too and he starts out like this this letter is from james a slave of God and a slave of the lord Jesus christ I’m writing to the 12 tribes jewish believers scattered abroad greetings you know I have a feeling if that had been me I would have said this is from dan the brother of Jesus and a slave to but I’d probably want to slide that little brotherhood in there

I believe very much james was a humbled man who God used mightily and he used him in the kingdom of our God um let me go back to chuck colson

he was serving out his term and I just have to read this to you really quick it was right toward the end of his term that he was serving in prison it was at maxwell federal prison camp and he tells how he was in the common area and he was writing a letter he had written lots of letters he had spent a lot of time studying scripture he had really tried to drink in and take the opportunity he had while he was in prison to know this Jesus better that he had given his life to and he said everybody was just doing their own business when all of a sudden somebody yelled from the other side of the room hey coulson and all of a sudden the room quieted down because the voice was coming from this big guy his name was archie he was a big man in the prison and he came over to uh to coulson and he demanded what are you going to do for guys like us when you get out of here and coulson promised that he would never forget the men at maxwell and he would do whatever he could and archie looked at him and he said bull you big guys leave here and you forget us little guys you’re not going to do anything he slammed a deck of cards down on the table when he walked out and chuck coulson never forgot that interaction and he never forgot the interaction he had with Jesus christ in that car and from that time on he committed his life to working in the prisons and many of you know he started prison fellowship which is the largest prison work in our country um these are words that coulson wrote himself I’ve been reflecting of late on the things God has done over that time as I think about my life the beginning of the prison ministry our work in the justice area our international ministry that reaches 100 countries the work with the wilberforce forum the break point radio program I’ve come to appreciate God’s providence in my life it’s not the world’s idea of fate or luck but it’s the reality of God’s divine intervention he orchestrates the lives of his children to accomplish his good purposes

it leads to the greatest joy I’ve found in life as I look back on my life it’s not having been to buckingham palace to receive templeton prizes or get honorary degrees or writing books which he wrote 30. some of them were some of my favorite books the greatest joy is to see how God has chosen to use my life to touch the lives of others people hurting people in prison it’s been a long time since those dark days of watergate I’m still astounded that God would take someone who was infamous in the watergate scandal soon to be a convicted felon and take him into his family and then order his steps in the way he has with me

you know I just like to enforce that with each one of you Jesus met you in your unbelief and he brought the conviction of truth into your hearts and he proved that yes I have risen from the dead and Jesus is transforming each and every one of you just like he did with chuck colson and you may say well I’m not a chuckles no neither am I but I’m a dan elliot and you’re you and with God’s power filling you you’re going to touch lives don’t ever let the enemy come and tell you you’re not worthy or you’re not able or you’re not capable you’ve been transformed and touched by Jesus christ and he wants to use you well there’s one more movement I guess I would say in the life of james that I want to look at

go back and I see that way he he starts his letter a slave of God and of the lord Jesus christ james the just as he was called james the righteous he became known as has no more mention in scripture but historians mention him josephus who was a first century historian he was not a christian but he was a historian who mentions james and he mentions him with that term just james the righteous and he also pinpoints and he says james the just was martyred in a.d 62 62 years 30 years or so after Jesus his brother was crucified um there’s a there’s a historian and I always butcher his name haggis hagisipus I probably wouldn’t know anyway but he’s the second century he wrote these words about 120 a.d and he wrote these words about the death of james and here’s what he writes they the priests assembled and said to james we call on you to restrain the people since they’ve gone astray after Jesus believing him to be the christ we call on you to persuade all who come for the passover concerning Jesus since all of us trust you we in the entire populist can vouch for the fact that you are righteous and you take no one at face value so do persuade the crowd not to err regarding Jesus so stand on the pyramid of the temple where you can be clearly seen from that height and your words would be heard by all the people with all the tribes and gentiles to whom are gathered here for passover so just to reiterate the setting it’s passover time there’s thousands of people in jerusalem coming for that celebration and the priestly class trusts james and they say to him we want you to tell him stop following Jesus this is wrong and they have him stand on the wall of the temple so the scribes and pharisees had had james stand on the temple parapet and they shouted him oh righteous one whom we all ought to believe since the people are going astray after Jesus who was crucified tell us what does the door of Jesus mean and james replied with a loud voice why do you ask me about the son of man he is sitting in heaven at the right hand of the great power and he will come on the clouds of heaven

many were convinced and rejoiced in james testimony crying hosanna to the son of david get this then the scribes and the pharisees said to each other we’ve made a bad mistake we’ve given him a platform to have a testimony to Jesus but let us go up now and throw him down from that wall and then everybody will be afraid to believe and they cried out oh oh even the just one has gone astray so they went up and they threw james down the righteous one then they said to each other let’s stone james the just and they began to stone him since the fall had not killed him but james turned and knelt down saying I implore you o lord God and father forgive them while they were pelting him with stones one of the priests actually cried out stop what are you doing the righteous one is praying for you then one a laundry man took the club that he used to beat out clothes and he hit the just on the head and james died that way james was martyred what seems like a rather gruesome death

well that aspect of martyrdom was one of the aspects that convinced charles coulson deeper and deeper about christianity and coulson died in 2012 but one of the things I remember reading in his book and I forget it was loving God or born again I don’t know but he wrote how when they were at watergate and they knew they had to cover this up so they came up with lies to cover it up and they all agreed together all seven of them that had been the masterminds of watergate and they came up with their story they had the administration behind them they had all the power behind them you know you look at Jesus resurrection and it tells us in the end of matthew and I’ll just say in my own words the priests gathered the guards together who came and said oh my goodness something happened and when we woke up Jesus was gone and they said okay tell the people the disciples came and overpowered you and they stole the body of Jesus and it even says and there’s some jews to believe this to this day coulson as he wrestled with the whole thing of watergate he said you know there were seven of us that totally agreed on what we were going to say and we couldn’t keep that secret for two weeks

if the resurrection is not true if the resurrection was just alive there’s no way people would have lasted their whole lifetime and there certainly is no way that they would have faced death for Jesus christ and I’m kind of glad james death is not written here in scripture I’m kind of glad the historians had to tell us about it because that connects history with the truth of the resurrection and my prayer for each and every one of us today is that we would have the confidence to know the resurrection of Jesus christ changed everything and he can transform our pitiful lives to be lives that can make a difference with one another hey let’s worship God and thank him would you stand with us