Day 234: August 22, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

1 Corinthians 15:7
Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

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Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
—1 Corinthians 15:7

To Whom Do I Really Belong?
by Eric Newton,

Jesus lived a perfect life. He was the perfect child. He always honored his parents and never told a lie. How do you think that impacted James, who’s believed to be the eldest brother of Jesus, the second-born son of Mary, and the first-born son of Joseph?

You don’t have to wonder. It’s recorded in John 7:1-8. Verse 5 says: “For not even His brothers believed in Him.”

When Jesus started His ministry, his brothers mocked Him. James despised and rejected Jesus just like many people do today and we may have at one time. He wasn’t a follower of Jesus until after the resurrection.

But James finally came to see his brother for who He really was—the long-awaited Messiah, the Savior of the world.

After the crucifixion and the resurrection, Jesus appeared to many of his followers and also to James. Paul records the appearance in his first letter to the church at Corinth (see 1 Corinthians 15:3-8).

What do you think Jesus said? “I told you so,” “You should have listened to me,” or “I don’t think so”?

I think He said, “James, I’m alive and I want you to know I love you. I went to the cross because I love you. I know you didn’t mean those hateful things you said about Me. You just didn’t understand. And now you do.”

James became much more than a brother on that day. He became a believer.

It’s believed James was the first New Testament book written around AD 49. Jesus died and was resurrected around AD 29-33. So somewhere between 17 and 20 years had passed by the time James wrote this book.

It wasn’t the result of a new believer discussing a lofty life to be attained. It was the result of an inspired believer sharing more of his Brother’s teaching than any other book in the New Testament—other than the Gospels.

How does James open the letter? “James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ…” (James 1:1). It’s not about who you are. It’s about whom you’re slave to.

We’re all slaves to something—our careers, hobbies, passions, money, pride, families, self, or the Lord. So the first question you must ask yourself is this: to whom do I belong? Who or what do I serve every day?

Reflection Questions

  1. Do you see Jesus as a great teacher and try to learn His teachings? Or do you see Him as the Son of God and seek to know and serve Him?
  2. Read 1 Corinthians 15:7 again. Once James recognized who Jesus was, He gave his life to Him. What impact has the appearance of Jesus had on your life?

About the Author

Eric Newton