James aka “Camel Knees”

James aka “Camel Knees”

James 1:12 – Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Beyond a few of their names, we know very little about Jesus’ brothers and sisters except for His half-brothers James and Jude.

Although he is Jesus’ brother (Matthew 13:55), James is not a believer until Jesus appears to him following the resurrection. (Mark 3:21; 1 Cor. 15:7) He is with the apostles at Pentecost (Acts 1:14) and becomes a leader of the Jerusalem church. (Galatians 1:19, 2:9; Acts 12:17, 15:12-21) His two nicknames are “James the Just” for his character and “Camel Knees” from praying so much.1

In Jude 1, the author introduces himself as, “Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James.” In Galatians 2:9, Paul calls James a pillar holding up the church along with Cephas (Peter) and John. Both James and Jude go on to be devoted Christian pastors, worshipping their big brother Jesus and writing books of the Bible bearing their names. James also presides over the conference held in Jerusalem to welcome Gentile converts in the church. (Acts 15) His work opens up the gospel beyond the Jewish people and can be credited in large part for the existence of Christianity as a global movement of the Spirit to this day.

We know that both James and Jude live by the power of the Spirit because they write Scripture. To write Scripture, you must have the Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16)

In his brief letter, Jude mentions the Spirit in verses 19–20, “It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit…” Not only is Jude empowered by the Spirit, as a pastor, he teaches his people to pray in the Spirit as well.

Read the short book of Jude, written by one of Jesus’ other brothers, and notice, as we study James, any similarities or comparisons between the two books.

  1. “All the Men of the Bible—James,” Zondervan, accessed June 6, 2018, https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/all-men-bible/James

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Mark Driscoll
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