St. James the Apostle (25, July)
James is the son of Zebedee and brother to John, both which were called by Jesus Christ to be His disciples (Matthew 4:21-22). He is also know and distinguished as St. James the Great and different from St. James the Less (the writer of book of James). Note, the term “Great & Less” does not mean that one is of more important than the other, it’s just a distinguishing feature meaning, “Great- Older, Less- Younger”.
St. James was one of the disciples Jesus took along with Him to witness His transfiguration as can be seen in Matthew 17.
And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever, we shall desire. And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? (1161) They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared. And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever, will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever, of you will be the chiefest shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.(Mark 10:35-45|KJV-
One of the lesson we learn from the life of St. James is his desire to attain the Lord’s glory, to be where He is. He did not desire Jesus miraculous powers but to permit him and his brother to sit at His left and right. Jesus response to them is an indication that the kingdom of heaven is not a family affair, secondly, that no one can come into it through the backdoor (because James and His brother came when the other disciples were not around. See vs 41) and that it makes more than desire to be where Jesus is; and that no one can bride his or her way to where He is; and that no once can sit where He sits except the Father draws such person to Him.
In the gospel of St. Matthew 20:20-28, it was recorded that it was their mother that brought them to Jesus to seek that favour. The truth remains that the heavenly race is personal, and nobody will enter heaven by favour or by the recommendation of any man or woman not even Jesus can recommend anyone to the Father because heaven is for those that it has been prepared for.
Heaven is for those whose names has been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world and by their fruits, we shall know them.
But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.(Mark 10:38-40|KJV-
Jesus showed them the road to be where He is going to, when He admonished them to drink from the cup He drank from and be baptise in the water that He was baptized (this means that anyone who must come to Christ must past through the cross and be born again) but the arrival to where He sit in glory, He did not assure them because it is not everyone that says Lord Lord that will enter the Kingdom of Heaven but those that does the will of the Father. (Matthew 7:21-23)
So from Jesus illustration we discovered that it is not all born again that will end up at the right hand of God, because one can be born again yet still disobeys the voice and instructions of the holy Spirit which is the conveyer of the will of the Father. Today in church, there are born again including pastors who still commit all sort of secret sins and still come to Jesus to permit them sit at His left and right.
Being born again is a precondition to enter heaven, doing the will of the Father is the assurance to end up at the right hand of God and not doing His will is the assurance to end at His left hand (hell)
Another lesson we learn from Jesus Christ through the acts of James and John was that Jesus explain service to be an act of humility, not thinking so much of your own self but for those whom you have been called to serve.
Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.(Acts 12:1-2|KJV
Most Holy and Amazing God, thank you for the grace You have granted us to learn virtues necessary for our eternal life through You Apostle, St. James; grant that we following His example will seek the way of eternal life and living by Your holy will, will end up with You in Glory. Help all that are in authority over the church, to be true and faithful servant to show the people the way to eternal life, through the saving grace of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Amen.