James the son of Zebedee – Part 2

The Fiery Temper

DATE: 16 Feb, 2003 AM          PLACE: BBC Blarney

I.      Introduction


A.      Studying the Twelve Apostles

B.       We started looking this morning at James, the brother of the Apostle John

C.       Tonight we want to finish our study of this great example of what most of us really are like, and how the Lord changed him


II.       Review – The Apostle James – Part 1


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


1.        Two apostles are named James


a.       James the brother of John

b.       James the son of Alphaeus


2.        And 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) Same as the call of everybody Jesus meets - The call is to Follow


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

D.      The Training of James.


1.        Had a trade – a fisherman

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


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


1.        What we are about to see in the life of James constitute not his “spiritual side!” They are the natural out-working of the old-man in all of us

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

3.        Two events illustrate James’ inner character


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

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


4.        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!

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

6.        We looked first at how he Handled Pressure with Wrath (Luke 9:51-56)


a.       The anger of the Samaritans triggered the anger that rested in the bosoms of two Apostles – it affected both James and John

b.       Jesus points out they were being influenced by a WRONG spirit


G.       Today, I want us to look at James’ Eminence, his Enablement, and finally, his End.


III.     Message – The Apostle James – Part 2


A.      James’ Eminence (Mk 10:35-41; Mt 20:20-24). Now let’s also see how James Sought the Pre-Eminence over the Person of Jesus – i.e., sought the good life instead of the godly life


1.        The Rewards of a Christian Life (Mk 10:28-31) – we need every once in a while to be reminded of the benefits of the Christian life


a.       Peter worries about having nothing in the end – left everything back 3 years prior at the sea side

b.       Jesus promises every Christian who has lost anything in following Him, that it will be made up to them up to 100 times as much (10,000% interest)

c.       And the payment is NOT only in heaven, but you will get some of the benefit in this life as well!

d.       But the key is found in two words


1)       Losing – if all you are focused on is gain, then you will lose

2)       Persecutions – if you won’t take a stand for the Lord, you will fall


2.        The Reason for the Christian Life (Mk 10:32-34) - This is critical


a.       As they get closer and closer to Jerusalem for the last time, two things happen in the hearts of the apostles


1)       They become amazed – surprised, astonished, shocked at how they were feeling

2)       They become afraid – something was not right – they seemed to be heading into a storm, and bad time of troubles, and they don’t want to go on


b.       It is here that Jesus looks them all in the eye and tries once again to explain what is ahead for them, and especially HIMSELF


1)       I will be captured and brought to the high priest

2)       I will be condemned to death

3)       I will be turned over to the Romans

4)       Where I will be mocked, whipped, spit upon

5)       And I will be killed

6)       But that will be ok – I will get back up 3 days later!


c.       How do you think the apostles looked after hearing all this? What were they thinking? What would YOU have thought?


3.        The Reign of the Flesh in the Christian’s Life (Mk 10:35-40) – this is so typical of us all! No matter how much we read in this Bible, or I preach, we are more often like James here than like Jesus!


a.       James ignores all the talk about the cross, and Jerusalem

b.       James misses the emphasis of Jesus on Jesus the Saviour

c.       His mind is locked onto Jesus the King – James thought they were going to Jerusalem to make Jesus the King!

d.       Our reign is a reality, but it will be later

e.       Notice the work of the flesh here:


1)       The flesh doesn’t want to hear about the cross – it’s foolishness

2)       The flesh is guided only by what IT desires, not what Christ desires – it is spoiled rotten

3)       The flesh is so used to telling Jesus what to do

4)       The flesh will even get influential people to help you get what you want – even your own mother!

5)       The flesh will worship ANYTHING or ANYBODY as long as it gets what it wants!

6)       The flesh only wants to bask in Christ’s glory, not seek to GIVE Christ glory


a)       Queens, chief of state sit in these places, alongside the king

b)       They knew Jesus would reign – obvious from His display of supernatural powers


7)       What is it that James’ flesh wanted? The Apostle James sought to simply be “ABOVE OTHERS”


a)       Obviously Jesus was TOP – how pious

b)       But the number 2 spots must be available, and JAMES thought HE was perfect for the position!


f.        Now, it wasn’t just James and John who were infected with this “disease” – so also was:


1)       All of the disciples at various times debated who was the greatest (Mk 9:30-35; Lk 22:24)

2)       The religious – Pharisees (Mt 23:4,5)

3)       And an early charismatic leader in the church – Diotrephes (3Jn 1:9,10)


g.       Let’s look again at the event, and apply it to us


1)       When is it that we get this kind of attitude?


a)       When we succeed at some things

b)       When our plans and dreams work out in our favour

c)       When our life is going our way – we decide that it ought to only get better! Which sometimes doesn’t happen

d)       Or, when we have nothing but troubles, and only wish for revenge – we want to be in the driver’s seat for a while!


2)       How does this attitude affect us:


a)       It affects our marriages


(a)     A wife says Me Submit to him? Respect my husband?

(b)     A man says, ME? Listen to MY wife? Consider her? Honour HER?

(c)     In this day and age, BOTH the husband and wife seek to be above the other…

(d)     “Well, I will just do what I want – I don’t CARE what she says”


b)       It affects our church (Jn 12:42,43)


(a)     There are plenty of people who wouldn’t be caught dead in a building like this because they are worried about not getting any worship for being here

(b)     People go to where they get the praise!

(c)     If someone is not a “perfect” singer, they won’t even open their mouth during worship time – don’t want to be embarrassed – they only want to be the best

(d)     If someone stutters or umms, or uhs a lot, they wouldn’t be caught dead behind this pulpit preaching the Bible – not because they are humble, but because they don’t want to be humiliated

(e)     So, people don’t see opportunities to minister, but only look for places of praise – will only do something where they will get the praise!

(f)      Look at Mk 10:41 – it affects all of us – when one person seeks the attention, everyone gets jealous and envious! These guys weren’t upset over James wanting the praise, they didn’t want HIM to get it


c)       It affects our kids


(a)     Won’t do anything embarrassing, or hard

(b)     Want only jobs where they make e80,000 a year – playing on a PlayStation testing out new video games for a living, instead of working hard, and working from the bottom up!


d)       It affects our work on the job, won’t let someone get praise


4.        The Price of a Christian’s Praise (Mk 10:38-40)


a.       Jesus asks James if he and anyone else is able to drink of His “cup” and be “baptized” with His baptism?

b.       Instantly, he says, “Of course we can!”

c.       Obviously, James has not been paying much attention, because he doesn’t have a clue about what Jesus is talking about

d.       Jesus tells James that he actually WILL drink from the same “cup” that Jesus will drink from, and be baptized with the same “baptism” that Jesus will be baptized with


1)       Both of which are referring to His death

2)       You see, the price of glory is high

3)       Every music star and movie star will tell you the same


5.        The Refocusing of the Christian’s Life (Mk 10:41-45)


a.       Self-examination (1Jn 4:1) checking out your own attitudes

b.       Humility – not weakness, but allowing someone else to be first

c.       Ministering


1)       When was the last time that you not only did something for someone else, and just KEPT being a blessing to them, all for Jesus’ sake?

2)       To minister means to SERVE, like a low, foot-washing slave of a servant!!!

3)       The servant of all shall in God’s kingdom be Lord of all

4)       Now you know and understand what Jesus came to be and do – not rule and reign over men’s lives like a tyrant, but to save!


6.        Review the character of James


a.       He knew not what spirit he was following


1)       It is so easy to get “carried away”

2)       We are told to be sober – fully aware of the spiritual battle that may flare up at any time


b.       He knew not what kind of question he was asking of Christ


B.       His Enablement – something happened to James after the resurrection!


1.        The Holy Spirit makes the difference in the life of the believer


a.       Belief in God means nothing. Belief IN Jesus means little more

b.       Belief ON Jesus – total trust in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection makes for salvation

c.       But surrender to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life makes for change in your life! Allow Him to break you, mould & remake you


2.        He was addicted to learning and teaching the word of God, and to prayer (Acts 6:3,4)


C.       His End (Acts 12:1,2)


1.        Not kept from death

2.        It was an honour to be a martyr – he did drink of that cup

3.        But it is better to be a living sacrifice


IV.    Conclusion


A.      James sought the Pre-eminence


1.        The Rewards of a Christian Life (Mk 10:28-31) – we need every once in a while to be reminded of the benefits of the Christian life

2.        The Reason for the Christian Life (Mk 10:32-34) - This is critical – it is only because of Jesus, not the rewards that we become a Christian!

3.        The Reign of the Flesh in the Christian’s Life (Mk 10:35-40) – this is so typical of us all! No matter how much we read in this Bible, or I preach, we are more often like James here than like Jesus!

4.        The Price of a Christian’s Praise (Mk 10:38-40) – lots of suffering

5.        The Refocusing of the Christian’s Life (Mk 10:41-45) – to that of a servant


B.       James gets converted at the resurrection – it took the crucifixion, the burial, and the resurrection to change him, but it did!

C.       James gets enabled by the holy Spirit

D.      James has a great end – it set the pace for people like Stephen