Jesus Creed

JesusJames*.jpgJames is like his brother Jesus in how he understands God. God is good and God is there and God is not silent and God responds.

who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

One thinks of a text like Matthew 7:7-11:

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If
you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your
children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to
those who ask him!

James says God is simply gives wisdom to those who come to God in faith. Jesus says God is good and gives to his children who come to him. It is not James’ style to “quote” Jesus. Instead, James has made his brother’s wisdom his own and says things from Jesus in his own way.

What he’s getting at here is that the poor messianists who are in the midst of so much suffering and stress and oppression can know that God is good and that God is there and that God is not silent and that God is listening. They can go to that God with their request for wisdom.

One might say that James, in some ways, provides the wisdom they were seeking from God. James doesn’t promise that God will rescue the poor messianists from suffering; he exhorts them to gather round one another, to live as Jesus taught, and to look to God for justice. This is not a pacifistic withdrawal but an active, aggressive stance of peace-mongering in the face of injustices. Note James 3:17-18:

17 But
the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then
peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit,
impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

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