Do you refer to Jesus as a friend?
There’s nothing wrong in doing so. In fact Jesus refers to us as his friends in the New Testament (John 15:13-15).
However, while reading through the book of James with my bible study recently, someone pointed out something interesting in the first sentence. James, the brother of Jesus wrote this book and starts his letter with the phrase, “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (1:1, NIV).
This is significant because the Bible makes it clear that during Jesus’s ministry, his family thought he wasn’t who he said he was, “for even his own brothers did not believe in him” (John 7:5).
It’s incredible that James went from disbelieving Jesus to acknowledging him as Lord. But what I find even more incredible is that James is referring to himself as Jesus’ servant.
If you’ve ever grown up with siblings, especially with older ones, not getting along becomes inevitable.Probably the last thing a young sibling wants to do is think of him or herself as a servant.
But James did. Even through growing up in disbelief, and going through what probably was shock and bitterness through Jesus’ execution, James finally believed in his brother and allowed himself to become available to serve God.
James and Jesus were probably (and hopefully) friends growing up, but if the brother of Jesus can refer to himself as a servant, do not forget that you are called to be a servant of Jesus too, and not just a friend.
Copyright 2017 by Molly Farnsley. Use by permission only.