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The Irritation that became a Pearl

Posted by undergroundchurch on March 5, 2010


For much of his life, Jim struggled with belief.  He grew up with talk of Jesus all over the place. It seemed that Jesus’name was a household word, but amoungst the people that “knew” of Jesus in his household, there was a divide… Mom and Dad were believers, but none of the kids could quite accept Jesus as the Messiah except that first-born kid, Joshua who had a different dad.

Joshua always seemed to be a thorn in the side of Jim and his siblings.  He was a very good kid growing up and liked to talk a lot about his real dad, even in front of his half brothers and sisters.  You can imagine the sibling rivalry that would occasionally come to a head.  Not only was the first-born from a different dad, but he was conceived out of wedlock, which used to be a more frowned upon situation than it is today.

When the Joshua grew up to become a minister of the Gospel, it just made the rest of the siblings that much more irritated with him and his “preaching of repentance”.  I’m sure that they felt that he was always preaching “down to them”.  He was an irritation, so you would think that when the day came that Joshua was killed while ministering, that the siblings of this half-blooded family member would have jumped for joy.

Sometimes though, it is through a tragedy that an irritation transforms in our own hearts and minds and we begin to realize what we really had.  Something happened shortly after Joshua’s death that caused Jim and his siblings to realize that their brother was telling the truth and that the message he preached was real, life changing and powerful.

Jim became a preacher shortly after the death of his older brother and came to realize that when your faith is tested, and your irritation level increases, it will either make you hard hearted or produce in you a pearl of great wisdom.

Jim wrote in one of his letters to his extended family:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

Jim, James to those that knew him, became the leader of the church in Jerusalem in the first century A.D.  You might not know him except for a letter he wrote that ended up wedged in our Bible between Hebrews and 1 Peter, but you should know his half-brother Joshua. For Joshua was a translation of his Hebrew name, Yeshua.  You know him better from the Greek – German translation of that Hebrew name “Jesus”.  Yes, that’s right –  Jesus whose Father was God.

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