A CHILD'S LIFE OF JESUS

BROTHER JAMES
There was still one important person who
refused to go to the funeral ~ Jesus'
brother James.  His family had begged him
to go, but he would not budge.

When they were gone, James thought about
all the bad things that had happened to
their family while they were growing up
because of Jesus.

Children and even sometimes grownups called
his big brother, Jesus, bad names.  They
said his mother, Mary, was not married
when Jesus was born.

James was Joseph's first-born son.  
Because of Jesus, his half-brother, James
didn't get to have the special attention
first-born sons are supposed to get from
their father.

His whole family was at the wedding in Cana
where Jesus turned water into wine.  Was
James ever mad.  "He didn't do that!" he
kept shouting.  "It was a trick."

James got really embarrassed when he
heard big brother, Jesus, had turned over
the tables at the Temple where people were
selling animals to be sacrificed.  

When Jesus started performing a lot of
miracles and healing a lot of people, James
couldn't explain any of it.  He decided it
was just magic.

Jesus even got into demon things.  He
claimed he cast demons out of people.  
James didn't believe any of it.  He thought
Jesus was just becoming a crazy man.

James talked his younger brothers and his
mother into going over to Jesus' house and
dragging him out of there before he
embarrassed the family any more.

Finally their father, Joseph, got sick.  Did
Jesus try to heal him like he claimed he
could?  No way.  He just let their father
die.  He claimed he could bring people back
to life after dying, but he didn't try to do
that for Joseph either.  James really
resented Jesus.

People in Jerusalem were trying to kill Jesus
by this time.  So was King Herod.  So
Jesus decided not to attend the yearly
religious ceremony there.  James and his
brothers tried to convince him to go.  
Maybe someone would kill him and get him
out of their life.

Although Jesus escaped harm, just last
month they had succeeded.  James'
half-brother was killed like a common thief.
He had shamed the family even in death.

Jesus loved his brother.  So he appeared to
James alone.  He proved who he was by
showing the prophecies about him and the
holes in his hands.  James paced and
objected.  It is hard to believe what used
to be impossible.

Finally James knew Jesus was telling him
the truth.  So James did something very,
very hard.  He looked at the big
half-brother he had always disliked, then
bowed his head.  Slowly he slid to the
floor, kneeled at Jesus feet and said, "My
God.  All along you were my God."