TRUTH IS HUMBLING
James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. James 1:1
James was the half-brother of Jesus. He grew up in the same household yet failed to recognize his brother’s divine nature. Family ties and sibling issues obscured his vision. Often, what is right under our noses is lost to us and so it was with James. I’m sure that as he grew older, he was haunted by a certain conversation he had with his brother, Jesus. “If you want to be known publicly,” James had said, “then go to Jerusalem to the Feast of Booths. Do your works there so that your notoriety grows.” The undertone of slick marketing was not lost on the Son of God. What James really said was, “If you think you’re divine, Jesus, and claim to have a ministry, then this is how you should perform.”
It wasn’t until after Jesus death and resurrection that James’ spiritual eyes were opened. It must have been humbling for him to realize how blind he had been. It would take another thirty years for him to write his letter to the church. It is the only epistle of his to be included in the pages of Scripture and it’s one of the most practical.
Can we peek behind the veil of three decades to imagine James’ demeanor? Perhaps he was so saddened by his former blindness and the reality of Jesus’ identity that he carved out his faith quietly behind the scenes. Humility bore sweet fruit though. He opened his letter by refusing to name drop. How easily he could have said, “James, a blood brother of Jesus.” Think of the attention that would have brought him. Instead, he calls himself a slave of God and His Son, Jesus.
What has been your most humbling moment? Perhaps what you boasted of the most crumbled in your hands. You were exposed; not able to look anyone in the eyes for quite some time. Or perhaps you lived with spiritual greatness but didn’t recognize it at the time. These failures can prove to be our greatest friends though. They provide an opportunity for a turnaround. Humility is born, and with it, the realization of God’s greatness and my brokenness.
I extend this message to each of you who will exclaim wholeheartedly with me, “Everything I am, I am by the gracious and merciful hand of God.”
Thank you for stripping away my props, for humbling me, and for opening my eyes to You. I now understanding myself in the context of Your glory. Amen