James 1:1 James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings. 2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
In this new book we are starting today, we will hear the intro to the book of James along with several reasons we have trials. This is a great book, a very practical book that deals with hard issues of life and really helps us as we live our Christian lives. We will also see how we are to respond to trials, we will look at trials from God’s perspective and see lastly that the way we respond to trials show the genuineness of our faith
We will see in this section of scripture the great miracle of the loaves and the fish being multiplied to feed a multitude of people. This is the only miracle that is included in all four Gospels. It is included because it is a great object lesson to show the people that Jesus can not only feed people with bread and fish, but He is the Bread of Life and He is master over all things. He first tests Phillip to see what he will do, and then he gets the typical it can’t be done responses from the rest of the disciples, all but one who brings a lad with two loaves and two small fish. Andrew is always bringing people to Jesus every time we see him in the Gospels. Jesus feeds them and even has food left over when there may have been as many as 15,000-20,000 people there at the time. We usually call this the feeding of the Five Thousand, but it says there were that many men plus women and children if you read all four accounts. This is a great miracle by the great God and Savior.
John 6:1 After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. 3 And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. 4 Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. 5 Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" 6 But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do. 7 Philip answered Him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little." 8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to Him, 9 "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?" 10 Then Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, "Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost." 13 Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world."
John 5:40 "But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. 41 "I do not receive honor from men. 42 "But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 "How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? 45 "Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you--Moses, in whom you trust. 46 "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 "But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?" (NKJV)
In this section of scripture we see Jesus getting down to the brass tacks. He did not come to be popular, He came to be a prophet and these High and Mighty Pharisees don’t want anything to do with a meek and humble Jesus. They want a political Jesus, a popular Jesus, a genie in the bottle Jesus that can feed them, heal them, overtake the Roman government and set them free not in a spiritual, but physical sense. He lets them know they are not His because they are hateful not loving, that they are headed for hell, and that they will receive the high and mighty popular people, but the one Moses wrote about they will not believe in and receive as Lord and Savior.
John 5:36 "But I have a greater witness than John's; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish--the very works that I do--bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. 37 "And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 "But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 "But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
In this section of Scripture, we will see that Jesus is doing all He can to give them a chance to be saved by telling them who He is and all of the witnesses to His being God. He tells them the works He does witness to His being God, the Father has witnessed and lastly that the Word of God witnesses to this fact, but they are not saved and will not be saved because they will not believe His witness. It is an amazing fact that those who begin by not wanting to be saved end up not being able to be saved because they harden their heart and then God finishes the process so that they cannot ever be saved. That is why the Bible tells us not to harden our hearts for today is the day of salvation.
Jos 11:20 For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that He might utterly destroy them, and that they might receive no mercy, but that He might destroy them, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
1Sa 6:6 "Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He did mighty things among them, did they not let the people go, that they might depart?
Ps 95:8 "Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
Heb 3:8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness,
Heb 3:15 while it is said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion."
Heb 4:7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, "Today," after such a long time, as it has been said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts." (NKJV)