Friday, April 6, 2018

A Moment in Time

"Then he appeared to James…” 1 Co 15:7

At first glance these words really don’t hold much weight but upon further consideration they show extravagant grace and loyalty to family…another beautiful example of Jesus. James was his half-brother growing up with Jesus. No doubt he was clueless about Jesus being the Son of God, the future Messiah. Growing up they surely participated in all the religious festivals during the year. Songs of Assent as they would start out on their pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the festival…the re-enactment at Passover of how God rescued their people from Egypt years before…the readings of past prophesies of the coming Messiah. Little did young James know that as he wrestled with his little brother, one day his little brother would wrestle with the world. I wonder as an adult when James began ridiculing Jesus, ashamed of his brother’s message of love to sinners and the message of God? There is even a passage that states, ‘When His family heard about this, they went out to take custody of Him, saying, "He is out of His mind.’ Mark 3:21. We are told Mary was the only family member by Jesus as He hung on the cross. So, all this messy and dysfunctional history brings us up to this powerful moment. It is the only mention of their interaction after the resurrection. There are multiple passages recording the exchange between Jesus and the others but not this one. I feel like it is because it was too private…too tender…too sacred. Sibling to to brother...heart to heart. It wasn’t until the appearance of Jesus that James would finally fully understand that his brother was the Son of God. I can’t even imagine how raw his heart was when he heard Jesus call his name.

Jesus appeared to James with the mercy and grace of a Savior, not just a brother. This same Jesus who forgave the one who turned his back on Him forgives us when we do. This same Jesus who was wounded by the mockery of his brother healed James’ wounds of the heart, and will also heal our grieving hearts. The same Jesus who carried our family through the loss of our loved ones will carry me through future heartbreak. The same tenderness and undeserving love that James experienced that day is available to each of us no matter what we have done.

The extravagant and relentless love of Jesus…He also approaches us every day, in every season, and offers us the same Brotherly love He did on that day thousands of years ago.

For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." Matthew 12:50

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