by Clarence E. Macartney

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Great Characters of the Bible (5 of 12)
An Autumn Blooming -- James, the Brother of Our Lord
by Clarence E. Macartney
1 Cor. 15:7

"If I had known that Lincoln was such a great man,
there are many things that he said that I might have
set down," wrote Whitney, one of Lincoln's
biographers, in a book of memories. Yet he lived close
to Lincoln for weeks at a time and did not recognize
his greatness. James lived close to Jesus for many
years but did not know He was great.

The Gospels have no record of this resurrection
appearance of Jesus. We find it in Paul's catalog of
the appearances of Jesus after His resurrection. It
is, therefore, one of the three appearances of Christ
to individuals. He appeared to Peter, to Mary of
Magdala, and to James. In a way, this appearance to
James is the most significant of all three. We might
have expected that Jesus would appear to Mary, who so
mourned Him. "Blessed are they that mourn: for they
shall be comforted." I wonder if Mary thought of that
and if she recalled this saying of Jesus when she
heard Him call her by name that morning by the empty
sepulcher? We might have expected, too, that He would
appear to Peter, who had so cruelly and shamefully
denied Him but had repented and wept bitterly. But
James was His own brother, and one of the brothers who
did not believe upon Him. The appearances to the other
disciples and friends were to convince them that Jesus
had risen from the dead. But this appearance to James,
seemingly the only one to an unbeliever, was for the
purpose of changing him from an unbeliever into a

The James that Paul mentions has generally been
identified as the brother of the Lord. The Gospels
tell us that Jesus had four brothers: James, Joseph,
Simon, and Judas. It tells us also that they thought
He was "beside himself." "Neither did his brethren
believe in him." This does not necessarily mean that
they did not respect Him o ...

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