You can find out a lot about someone based upon their action, behavior and content of spoken/written words. While James is often considered the earthly brother of Jesus, few people realize he spent many years without a father. Beginning in the second chapter of the gospel of John, Jesus’ father Joseph is not mentioned. While there are many theories to explain Joseph’s absence, most scholars believe Joseph died several years before Jesus began his earthly ministry. Thus, its assumed by the author John, Joseph is dead leaving James fatherless.
Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless, James 1:26.
Anyone who is blessed with having godly influences along the way in life tends to possess key insight. Like the brothers of Joseph in the Old Testament who thought he was crazy, James had similar thoughts about Jesus. Based upon the words chosen above, James doubted his brother prior to his resurrection. Although he doesn’t specify, James likely joked about, made fun of or used sarcasm upon hearing Jesus’ boisterous claims. Conviction inspired James to state religion is worthless without keeping a tight reign on your tongue.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world, James 1:27.
Beside helping the poor, James gives believers 2 areas where people should express their faith. Likely thinking about his mother Mary, supporting widows is a worthy cause. Meanwhile, orphans abandoned by their families or left homeless due to tragedy is just as needy. Perhaps, James experienced times in life when he needed a father, but Joseph was long gone. Though you may not know an orphan, that doesn’t mean you can’t find someone younger to mentor. Desperate souls are longing for a friend to guide them through life. Yet, without the helping hands of Christ’s servants in action, the lonely will remain feeling fatherless.
by Jay Mankus