How do we live as God’s people who have been brought from an old way of life into the life and community of Jesus? We’ll tackle this question over the next ten weeks as we do a deep dive into the book of James.
James greets the messianic Jews who were living outside the land of Israel. This book of the Bible is a summary of James’ wisdom for any and every community of Jesus followers. His goal isn’t to teach new theological information; rather, he wants to get in your business and challenge how you live.
He has been heavily influenced by 1) Jesus’ teaching about life in the Kingdom, especially the Sermon on the Mount, which he echoes and quotes in the book, and 2) the biblical wisdom book of Proverbs, especially the poems in proverbs 1-9. His own teaching sounds like them. It’s stamped by their language and imagery.
James is calling the messianic community – and God is calling us – to become truly wise by living according to Jesus’ summary of the Torah: to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself.