"And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him."
(Matthew 4:21-22 KJV)
James, the son of Zebedee was a disciple of Jesus Christ who with his brother John and their father, were fisherman on the Sea of Galilee before being called by Jesus to become "fishers of men." James was better educated than Peter, who was a partner with his brother Andrew in their business of fishing. James and his brother were known as the "Sons of Thunder", James, John and Peter made up the inner circle around Jesus. While we don't know much about James, we do know that he was older than John and that his mother's name was Salome. There is some evidence that James was a first cousin of Jesus Christ and had grown up with Him. Mary, Jesus' mother, may have been a sister to Salome. James' mother asked that Jesus command that her sons would sit next to Him in heaven but Jesus denied the authority (Matthew 20:20-23 KJV).
We don't know much about James' ministry after Jesus Christ's resurrection but we do know he lived another 11 years. Apparently, James visited the slaves in Spain and preached to them and to the Jewish colony there. In 44 AD, Herod Agrippa sent out an order to have him executed on the feast of Passover (Acts 12:1-3 KJV) which
made him the first apostle to suffer martyrdom.
The scripture says little about the personality and activities of James. Together with his brother, John, he offered (and was forbidden) to pray down fire on a village that had refused Jesus hospitality (Luke 9:54). The two brothers and their former fishing partner, Peter, were the most trusted of the disciples. Jesus took them as the sole witnesses at His transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-2), the raising of Jairus' daughter (Luke 8:51) and His prayer in the garden just before His arrest (Matthew 26:36-37). James was not as impetuous as Peter nor perhaps as steadfast as John but he was always available and willing when Jesus called. We would do well to be as obedient and reliable as James.
Join us at LWBC as we work in Our Awesome God's vineyard to tell everyone about Jesus Christ and His salvation. We start with small groups on Sunday at 9:30 AM and Worship Service at 10:30 AM. Our programs include Bible Study groups along with AWANA for children on Sunday evening at 6:00 PM until 7:30 PM. Wednesday at 7:00 PM is Prayer Requests and Bible Study. Let's see what we can do and learn!
"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
(Matthew 16:18 KJV)
Peter was born about 1 AD in Bethsaida in Galilee, Israel. His family was all fishermen, including himself, his father and his brother, the apostle, Andrew. Peter and Andrew as well as their partners, the apostles James and John, were fishermen on the Sea of Galilee with Zebedee, the father of James and John. Peter and Andrew had been disciples of John, the Baptist. But that changed when they met and listened to Jesus Christ and He invited them to become "fishers of men".
After Peter recognized Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus included Him in His inner circle with James and John. He took them with Him at the time when Jairus' daughter was brought back from the dead (Mark 5:35-43), on the mountain top during the transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9), and through the agony of Jesus at Gethsemane (Mark 14:33-42).
As predicted, Peter did deny Jesus three times before the cock crowed but after seeing Jesus again and talking to Him at the Sea of Galilee, he became a "sold out" fisherman for spreading the gospel to all men. Peter stood up at the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem and preached to them all and a great many were saved (Acts 2). It was under Peter's leadership that they chose a replacement for Judas and organized the church in Jerusalem.
During his early ministry, Peter preached only to the Jews but Our Awesome God gave Peter a vision and told him not to call anything cleansed by God unclean. Not long after, Peter preached to the Roman centurion and baptized his household. Soon the gentiles were being told of Jesus by Paul and others.
It was said that, when persecution of Christians started in Jerusalem, Peter went to Rome where he preached the gospel fearlessly to the church there. When they arrested him and were going to crucify him, he asked to be crucified upside down, not as his Lord Jesus Christ was crucified. Are we such "sold out" Christians?
If you are a Christian who has strayed away from Our Awesome God or someone who has never been a Christian or a person who needs to help minister to others, join us at Living Word Baptist Church on Sunday at 10:30 AM for worship and caring from our church of Christians. On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Requests, and a Bible Study follows until 8:00 PM. We welcome all visitors and love them!
Flo & Bill