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JAMES
        "Jacob" in Greek; the name appearing in our Lord's apostles and contemporaries for the first time since the patriarch. Son of Zebedee, brother of John. Their father's "hired servants" and fishing vessel imply some degree of competence. John probably was the one with Andrew (John 1:35-41), who, on John the Baptist's pointing to the Lamb of God, followed Jesus. The words Andrew "first findeth his own brother Simon" imply that John secondly found and called his own brother James to Jesus, or vice versa. Some months later the Lord saw Zebedee, James, and John, in the ship mending their nets. At His call James and John "immediately left the ship and their father and followed Him"(Matthew 4:22). Their L EAVING T HEIR F ATHER "W ITH T HE H IRED servants"(Mark 1:20, a minute particular, characteristic of Mark' s vivid style and his knowledge through Peter of all which happened)was not an unfilial act, which it would have been if he had no helpers. The next call was after an unsuccessful night's fishing, when the fishermen had gone out of their ships and had washed (Luke 5:2, Vaticanus and Cambridge manuscripts read eplunon , "were washing"; the Sinaiticus and Paris manuscripts have epifainoo ) their nets; Jesus entering one of the ships, Simon's, prayed him to thrust out a little from land, and preached. Then rewarding his loan of the ship, He desired Simon, Launch out into the deep, and do ye let down your nets for a draught. At Christ's word, however unlikely to reason, he let down, and enclosed so many fish that the net broke; and the partners in the other ship came to his help, and they filled both ships so that they began to sink. Astonished at the miracle, yet encouraged by His further promise to Simon, "henceforth thou shalt catch men," the three forsook not merely their "nets" as before, but "all," and followed Him. In fact the successive calls were:
        (1) to friendly acquaintance (John 1:37);
        (2) to intimacy (Matthew 4:18);
        (3) to permanent discipleship (Luke 5:11);
        (4) (toward the close of the first year of our Lord's ministry) to apostleship (Matthew 10:1);
        (5) to renewed self dedication, even unto death (John 21:15-22).
        In Matthew and Luke (Luke 6:14), of the four catalogs of see APOSTLES , Andrew follows Peter on the ground of brotherhood. In Mark (3:16) and Acts (1:13) James and John precede Andrew on the ground of greater nearness to Jesus. These four head the twelve; and Andrew is at the foot of the four. Peter, James, and John alone witnessed the raising of Jairus' daughter (Mark 5:37); also the transfiguration (Matthew 17:1); also the agony (26:37). The four asked our Lord "privately" when His prediction of the temple's overthrow should be fulfilled, and what should be the sign (Mark 13:3). In Luke 9:28 (the transfiguration) alone John precedes James. By the time that Luke wrote John was recognized as on a level with James, yet not above him, as Luke in Acts 1:13 has the order, "James, John," but in 12:2 Luke calls James brother of John, who by that time had become the more prominent. James was probably the elder brother, whence John is twice called "brother of James" (Mark 5:37; Matthew 17:1). No official superiority was given, for no trace of it occurs in New Testament; it was the tacitly recognized leadership which some took above the others. James and John were called see BOANERGES to express their natural character and the grace which would purify and ennoble it, making James the first apostle martyr and John the apostle of love. Their fiery zeal in its untempered state appeared in their desiring to call fire from heaven to consume the Samaritans. These would not receive Jesus when He sent messengers to make ready for Him (i.e. to announce His Messiahship, which He did not conceal in Samaria as in Judaea and Galilee: John 4:26, Luke 9:54), because His face was as though He would go to Jerusalem, whereas they expected the Messiah would confirm their anti-Jewish worship in the mount Gerizim temple. James and John "saw" some actual collision between the Samaritans and the messengers who were sent before and whom our Lord and His apostles followed presently; just as Elijah in the same Samaria had called for fire upon the offenders face to face (2 Kings 1:10,12). In Luke 9:55,56, "ye know not what manner of spirit ye are (not the fiery judicial spirit which befitted Elijah's times, but the spirit of love so as to win men to salvation, is the spirit of Me and Mine), for the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives but to save them," is not in Alex., Vat., and. Sin.manuscripts The same John subsequently (Acts 8:14-17) came down with Peter to confer the Spirit's gifts on Samaritan believers. What miracles in renewing the heart does the gospel work! Salome the mother of Zebedee's children, impressed by Christ's promise that the twelve should sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel, begged, and her two sons joined in the prayer, that they might sit one on His right the other on His left hand in His glory (Mark 10:35-37). They prefaced it with pleading His own promise, "Master, we would that Thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire"(Matthew 7:7; Luke 11:9; Mark 11:24). Perhaps jealousy of Peter and Andrew, their rivals for the nearest place to Him, actuated them (Matthew 20:20-24). He told them that they should drink of His cup (Sin. and Vat. manuscripts omit in verse 22,23 the clause as to the "baptism") of suffering (Acts 12:1,2; James; Revelation 1:9; John), but to sit on His right and left, said He, come again on the clouds of heaven." Many cried "Hosanna to the Son of David." But James was cast down by the Pharisees. Praying, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," he was stoned in spite of the remonstrance of a Rechabite priest ("Stop! the just one is praying for you!"), then beaten to death with a fuller's club. Thus the Jews wreaked their vengeance on him, exasperated at his prophecy of their national doom in his epistle, which was circulated not only in Jerusalem but by those who came up to the great feasts, among "the twelve tribes scattered abroad" to whom it is addressed. James was probably married (1 Corinthians 9:5). Josephus makes Ananus, the high priest after Festus' death, to have brought J. before the Sanhedrin for having broken the laws, and to have delivered him and some others to be stoned. In Hebrews 13:7 there may be allusion to James'martyrdom, "Remember them which had (not have) the rule (spiritually) over you, (Hebrews, over whom he presided) who have spoken unto you the word of God, whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation" (their life walk). If this be the allusion, the Epistle to Hebrews was probably A.D. 68, and James's martyrdom A.D. 62. His apprehension by Ananus was very probably in this year; but according to Hegesippus he was not martyred until just before the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 69, to which, as near, Hebrews 5:1 may refer.
Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew Robert M.A., D.D., "Definition for 'james' Fausset's Bible Dictionary".
bible-history.com - Fausset's; 1878.

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