These are the names of the twelve disciples: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. (Plus his replacement Matthias)
James son of Alphaeus
This month I will comment on James, the son of Alphaeus, who is not to be confused with James, the son of Zebedee. So next month when I write about James, the son of Zebedee, he is not to be confused with James, the son of Alphaeus, of whom I am writing this month. (Who said keep taking the pills?)
James, the son of Alphaeus
As with the other disciples and apostles, James, the son of Alphaeus, was called specifically by Jesus to be with him and that Jesus might send James, and others, out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. What amazing powers our Lord has, powers that we rarely touch today, powers that are available but maybe something gets in our way of trying to acknowledge the authority Jesus can bestow on his servants. Not only was James able to see and hear Jesus during his ministry on earth, but James was also a recipient of healing powers and preaching abilities of the Good News. This was not only during the three years that Jesus carried out God’s work amongst men see Genesis 1:27 but also at the coming of the Holy Spirit, after Jesus had been taken up before their very eyes to be with the Father.
James was called to serve, to give up everything to follow Jesus, to learn from His master experiences that would be with him for the rest of his life. The character of James was changed the day Jesus called him. No longer was he to follow the ways of the world, but he was instructed in the ways of God. The old life of James was gone and a new life started because he obeyed Gods calling. We see a personal commitment in the life of James, as with the majority of the other disciples, follow Jesus. Not all are called to give up their livelihood, family and friends but there is a cost involved. James recognised that cost and accepted it, as we should.
Tradition says that James, the son of Alphaeus, continued to preach the Gospel throughout Palestine and down to Egypt. Where, it is said, that he was crucified, the same as his Saviour was.
Jesus called to those he wanted, and they came to him. Has Jesus called to you? How have you responded? Will you be able to do as the disciples did?
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:18-19