James, the author of this epistle, was someone very familiar with the Lord Jesus Christ. Being the eldest son of Joseph, he grew up in the same household as Christ. The Scriptures tell us very little about Joseph, James’ father. In the account of Christ’s birth, Joseph is described as a just man (Matthew 1:19); the Greek word dikaios is translated both as righteous and as just. Today, the term just is used almost exclusively to describe someone’s decision making i.e. a just judge.Throughout the Christmas story, Joseph consistently made the right choices no matter how hard or difficult the decision was. The same can be said of his son James as well. He was known throughout Jerusalem as a righteous and devout man. Many called him James the Just. Historians tell us that when forced by the high priests to renounce Christ as the Messiah in front of the large crowds that had gathered for the Passover, James refused, deciding to use the opportunity to reaffirm his faith in the Lord Jesus as the Messiah. It led to his martyrdom. Another right decision in the face of difficult circumstances -just like his father, I guess you can say that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
Interested in learning more? Firebreak University offers the course “Journey Through James.”