James the son of Zebedee – Part 1

The Fiery Temper


DATE: 9 Feb, 2003 AM          PLACE: BBC Blarney


I.         Introduction


A.      Studying the Twelve Apostles

B.       What are we looking at when we examine these men?


1.        Real people

2.        Real lives that they lived – yes 2,000 years ago, but it might as well have been yesterday for all that is still the same since then!

3.        Real change as Jesus affected them – there is no way that a person is not affected by just the slightest influence of Jesus Christ


C.       What is an “Apostle?”


1.        A Specially Sent Person – sent by Jesus

2.        Their purpose was to establish the New Testament church which they did in the first century – can’t improve on it


a.       Jesus Christ is the chief corner stone

b.       The Apostles laid the foundation according to that corner-stone

c.       Once they finished their task, they died off

d.       We are only building upon that foundation – no need to go back and change it, or try and improve on it


3.        There are no more than 12 apostles – no hierarchy, no power-base, just disciples, who live  by that Book, and love God!


D.      We have looked at briefly the life of Simon Peter, and Andrew his brother.

E.       This morning we look at James, the brother of the Apostle John


II.       Background – The Apostle James


A.      Three James’ in Scripture (Mt 10:1-4)


1.        As if it couldn’t be more complicated

2.        James was a very common name

3.        It is the Greek name for “Jacob”

4.        Two apostles are named James


a.       James the brother of John

b.       James the son of Alphaeus


5.        And then there is the Lord’s half-brother, also named James (Mt 13:54-56; Gal 1:19)


B.       The Call of James (Mt 4:18-22; Lk 5:10)


1.        Same as the call of everybody Jesus meets

2.        The call is to Follow


a.       Not imitate – as in act, or mimic – enough of those around

b.       But to be like Jesus

c.       To keep your eyes on Jesus


1)       Not on Peter

2)       Not on the storms

3)       Not on the crowds (Jer 1:8)


3.        Hearing and answering this call forever changed the course of his life


C.       The Brother of James – John (Mt 10:2)


1.        As with most brothers in Scripture, they either loved, or hated each other. In this case, these two brothers were VERY close – which is good

2.        The purpose of brothers (Pr 17:17) to lean on, and look to for help


D.      The Training of James.


1.        Had a trade – a fisherman – grew up by the sea

2.        Then spent 3 ½ years with Jesus


a.       Learning how to see life through Christ’s eyes

b.       Learning how to face anything, and conquer by faith alone!


E.       His Relationship to Jesus – part of the Inner-circle

1.        Mount of Transfiguration (Mt 17:1)

2.        Healing of Jarius’ daughter (Mk 5:37)

3.        Teaching them about the coming Tribulation (Mk 13)

4.        Garden of Gethsemane (Mk 14:33


F.       His Character – now we are going to meet OURSELVES! (James 1:22-25)


1.        What we are about to see in the life of James are not his “spiritual side!”


a.       They are the natural out-working of the old-man that is in all of us

b.       There is a whole lot of James in all of us


2.        Two events illustrate James’ inner character

a.       He constantly Sought the Pre-Eminence (Mk 10:35-41)

b.       He Handled Pressure with Wrath (Luke 9:51-56)


3.        It is during these two events that the Lord really begins to mould and change James’ character – and he doesn’t even know it – at least until after the resurrection!

4.        Jesus even renames both James and John to “Quick tempered” – quick to react (Mk 3:17)

5.        We are going to first look at how he Handled Pressure with Wrath (Luke 9:51-56)


III.     Message


A.      Background to what’s Happening (Luke 9:51-54)


1.        It has been 3 ½ years since Jesus started out in His ministry, teaching, healing, methodically demonstrating that He was the Messiah

2.        James, as well as all the twelve Apostles had been with Jesus now for those 3 ½ years

3.        It has been a long trek of faith – and it has not been easy

4.        Now, Jesus stops doing any miracles, and sets out for getting to Jerusalem in time for the Passover

5.        As He passes through Samaria, Jesus almost ignores the needs around Him


a.       People are brought to Jesus needed to be healed

b.       People were waiting to hear Him teach

c.       But they are only greeted with “I must needs get to Jerusalem”


6.        This makes the Samaritans ANGRY


a.       They feel betrayed, hurt, rejected

b.       But they just simply are spoiled

c.       Jesus had not come to permanently do all those things

d.       He had mainly come to die


7.        The anger of the Samaritans triggers the anger that rested in the bosoms of two Apostles – it affects both James and John

8.        Look what they want to do


a.       They ask Jesus if it would be ok to show these UNGRATEFUL, WORTHLESS Samaritans just WHO you really are

b.       They want to overwhelm the anger of the Samaritans with THEIR APOSTOLIC anger!

c.       They want to go head-to-head with these “reprobates!”


9.        They even have Scripture to back up the way they feel


a.       Elijah burned up his enemies

b.       We should be able to do the same too!


B.       Here is the Crux of the Lesson Jesus Deals with (Lk 9:55,56)


1.        Jesus confronts the real problem – a WRONG SPIRIT


a.       Wrong attitudes abounded here in this situation

b.       The manner of spirit they had was some bad emotions

c.       The attitudes, the outlooks of James and John were being wrongly influenced by something – to the point that they thought “blowing a village off the map” was the thing to do!


2.        Wrong spirits – or, what Jesus often called “unclean” spirits (shouldn’t even touch any of these attitudes)


a.       Here, we have an Angry spirit like Moses “caught” (Num 20:10-12)

b.       Peter right after declaring that Jesus was the Messiah, the very Son of God, yielded his emotions over to a Demonic spirit (Mt 16:23)

c.       Job’s wife’s WOUNDED spirit (Job 2:9,10) led her to want to just GIVE-UP and die

d.       Fearful spirit (2Tim 1:7)

e.       Lying spirit (1Kgs 22:22,23)

f.        Religious spirit (Acts 26:9-11)

g.       Do you know what this world is filled with? Wrong spirits – not just demonic forces (Eph 6:12), but people who live their entire lives controlled by those wrong spirits!


3.        The opposites of having a wrong spirit


a.       Daniel had an excellent spirit (Dan 6:3)

b.       Joseph has a Christ-like Spirit (Gen 41:38)

c.       Meek and Quiet spirit in a woman (1Pet 3:3,4)

d.       Conquering spirit (2Tim 1:7; Heb 2:14,15; 1Jn 4:18)

e.       That’s why God gave us His HOLY Spirit


1)       To replace all the wrong attitudes

2)       To conquer all the unclean spirits in our lives


4.        Note the following facts


a.       The Samaritans were wrong in THEIR attitude towards Jesus - true

b.       That wrong attitude affected the attitudes of the APOSTLES


1)       Should that have been possible? Shouldn’t the APOSTLES of all people been “above” that attitude? Of course!

2)       But since they weren’t, don’t you think that none of US are free from this failure as well?


c.       The apostles were not even aware that they even had a bad attitude

d.       Their bad attitude is not referred to as an attitude problem, but a SPIRITUAL problem!


C.       Jesus’ Answer to James’ Bondage


1.        Remember, this attitude that James and John had was not a good thing

2.        It was another spirit in control of their whole outlook on life, and situations, and problems

3.        This attitude problem was so serious that Jesus knew that if He did not deal with it quickly, it would spread throughout all the Apostles

4.        Jesus very quickly strikes at the source of their problem


a.       An out of control flesh

b.       An un-reasonable expectation – of Jesus (for Jesus to want to destroy) – that Jesus is only against other’s sins, and will overlook yours


5.        First of all - Get your flesh under control, and there will be nothing that can stop you


a.       Your flesh is what you yourself do, and how you react to God (Rom 8:4-8)


1)       It never does ANY good on its own

2)       It is only good for getting under control, and making into a servant of Jesus


b.       Your spirit is what God does through you – as you yield to Him

c.       Every Christian has the Spirit of Christ in them, or else they are NOT born-gain (Rom 8:9)

d.       God seeks for US to bring into control our attitudes (our spirit) like we would seek to control a chainsaw, or a car, or a loaded gun, or a spoiled child!


1)       Pr 16:32  He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

2)       Pr 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

3)       Pr 15:18  A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.

4)       Ps 103:8  The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

5)       Pr 25:28  He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

6)       Jas 1:19  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

7)       Pr 14:29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.

8)       Pr 19:11  The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.

9)       Pr 16:19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

10)    Ro 12:21  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.


e.       From those Scriptures the following truths are self-evident


1)       We are wicked when we allow our bad attitude to show

2)       We are sinning when we allow other people’s wrong actions and attitudes to affect OUR attitudes and actions

3)       The Lord is very slow to show His anger – so, we have no right to act against Him – if He has grace, then so should we


6.        Secondly, Correct any un-reasonable expectation you have of Jesus


a.       James expected Jesus to want to destroy His enemies

b.       James expected that Jesus is only against other’s sins, and will overlook his!

c.       The Book of James says back in Jam 1:22-26, To conquer wrong spirits in your life:


1)       Hear God’s word – read it, listen to Him teach

2)       Do His word – live it, every hour of every day – not just when easy or convenient

3)       When you see yourself in this Book, quickly repent of it, and ask God to change you – FAST!

4)       That includes God teaching you to BRIDLE (restrain) your tongue most of all!


IV.    Conclusion (Ps 51:10)


A.      There are three attitudes everybody has:


1.        Don’t care – so many in this room – don’t care about God, or obeying His word – most dangerous

2.        Don’t know – unaware of their attitudes swinging around like a man waving around a gun

3.        Don’t want to be this way! AMEN! Surrender


B.       Remember, James was NOT this way after the cross

C.       After He saw the resurrected Jesus, James was not only ready to stand as a follower of Jesus, but also ready to die for His Lord! AMEN!

D.      What manner of spirit do YOU have? What are YOU like with your kids, your enemies, your husband, your wife?


1.        Short fuse? – wicked

2.        Full of fears and stress? – just as wicked with Jesus around

3.        Religious only – full of outward acts, but nothing on the inside?


E.       Confess it as sinful, and ask for Jesus to renew a right spirit in you!