Click on the arrow to hear "Oppressors & Oppressed" (13 mins), for Day 10 of our series.
- Was Jesus a "carpenter" (Mark 6:3, Matt 13:55)? Tekton = builder. "Carpenter,” esp. in our culture, has a certain prestige. But not so much when someone tells you, “I’m in construction. I’m a manual laborer.”
- Jesus was more likely a stonemason. Wood is not the usual building material in Palestine – stone is much more common. As a builder he would have worked with others. He also may not have been as well-off as we might think. (After all, consider how few possessions he had at the end of his life.)
- He was not born into privilege; he had to work for a living. James wasn't wealthy, either. If anything, he stood on the side of the underprivileged.
- James urges us not to privilege the rich. Often they are rich only because they are underpaying, entrapping, or otherwise exploiting the poor.
- Of course not all poor people will be saved, and not all rich people will be condemned.
- But the Scriptures heavily favor the needy, pity the plight of the poor, and call us all to take responsibility.
- Irony: cozying up to the very people who are exploiting you!
- The rich typically use the law to gain wealth, keep it, and make it grow—and keep it away from others.
- Q&A 1616: “Are James's remains in the church of Santiago de Compostela in Spain?”
- N.T. Character Study on James, the brother of the Lord.
- A book on the ossuary of James, by Hershel Shanks and Ben Witherington III, The Brother of Jesus: The Dramatic Story and Meaning of the First Archaeological Link to Jesus and His Family (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2003).
Next: The Royal Law
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