Why Did James Doubt Jesus and Not Believe Him Until After the Resurrection?

Hey Michelle, :cherry_blossom:

I have a few questions from the students from Victory Academy. :eagle:

They recently watched Abdu’s riveting lecture on the Resurrection and had some questions regarding Jesus.

Blake & Samuel asked, Jesus’ brother James, why did he doubt Jesus and why did he not believe until after the resurrection?

Yousef inquired on why did Paul persecute the church?

Samuel wanted to know if there was any information on Joseph, Jesus’ earthly dad?

Greycen wanted to probe the reason why Jesus would heal the ear of the Roman solider Peter cut off, if later, that solider would be party to His crucifixion?

Thanks so much for your wisdom :tulip:

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Hi Rosann and all of you awesome Victory academy students!

You guys know I have a soft spot in my heart for you. Sophia and I still think warmly on our visit to the school and Zippy loves all of her gifts! I am so glad that you are still asking watching apologetic talks and asking great questions. I’m sure that this season has been hard for you with schools being shut down. Thanks so much for still taking the time to engage with your teachers online and participate with this assignment. Keep going guys!

Here is the first question from Blake and Samuel.

Jesus’ brother James, why did he doubt Jesus and why did he not believe until after the resurrection.

While I can’t answer personally for James here :), I find a lot of comfort in the fact that the Bible includes so many different examples of how people responded to Jesus. I think it helps a range of different people know that they are welcome in the family of God regardless past, present or future doubts or feelings they might encounter. If even Jesus’ own family had to struggle with disbelief or questions before coming to faith, then it’s ok for me or anyone else to wrestle with my faith. I wonder if you have ever had something really incredible or special that happened to you that seemed easier to share with a friend than a family member? Sometimes family members find it the hardest to accept big life changes or public recognition of another family member because they are so accustomed to the everyday version that person that they grew up with. As a pastor’s child I found it hard at times to view and accept my dad as a pastor, I’m sure family members of government leaders or celebrity’s might feel the same sometimes. The difference with Jesus was that he was more than just a respected teacher or famous person, he actually was God. It took his bodily resurrection from the dead to finally prove that for many people, not just his brother James. In some ways the makes a lot of sense, it would be hard believing your brother or sister or even best friend was divine-no matter how great they were until they did something indisputably supernatural. James needed the resurrection-but so do we.

Paul puts it this way in 1 Corinthians 15:14 &20-21 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith… But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.”

We all can believe that Jesus Christ is who he says he is because he rose from the dead. Whenever doubts might creep in, we can go back to this truth and be confident the Jesus is Alive.

I will answer each question in a separate post!
Sending lots of love to the entire class,
Michelle

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Thank You Michelle for addressing what I have always considered a very interesting question concerning Jesus own siblings that we know so little about .
We do know that as an adult Jesus was mocked by the religious leaders as being , " born of fornication".
We can only conclude that this shameful rumor must have been hurled at Jesus from a very early age .
And while really not topic I would think a child would feel comfortable asking parents about in that period, could Jesus own siblings have questioned Joseph & Mary about the circumstance surrounding their brothers conception ? ,
Perhaps after his brothers or sisters had themselves had the shameful accusation brought up to them concerning their brother while at play with other children.
We all know how cruel children can be armed with the right information , perhaps overheard from adults.
It could have been a very thorny unresolved issue for Jesus’s siblings to deal with growing up, depending greatly on how much was explained to them from Joseph & Mary , and how much they were really able to digest of what was being told to them?
Given how they were possibly negatively impacted on a continual basis by it as children some of the people most resistant to who Jesus was and His purpose could have been those closest to Him , his own brothers & sisters .
We just don’t know .
But in a way to me this whole family issue does seem to be related to what Jesus addressed about a " Prophet not being honored in his hometown ".
The fact that we do know this rumor followed Jesus into adulthood definitely has implications for His family.
It had to have impacted them in some way .
Trusting where they could not trace may have been more difficult for Jesus own siblings than for anyone else . Love In Christ + , Mike .

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Yousef: Why did Paul persecute the church?

Greycen: Why Jesus would heal the ear of the Roman solider Peter cut off, if later, that solider would be party to His crucifixion?

Dear Yousef,

Great question. The book of Acts and Paul’s own letters is how we are able to do our best to know some of the story of Paul’s life before he became a Christian. What we do know was that he was persecuting christians. It tells us that in Acts, which was written by Luke who travelled around with Paul after his conversion.

Acts 8:3

But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.

And Here is just one text where Paul says that of himself:

Galatians 1:13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it.

The truth is the Bible does not give us a specific reason why Paul decided to persecute the christians. Some commentators believe that he was particularly upset by christians in Damascus who had decided not to follow the Torah (what we now know as the Old Testament) once they became Christians.

Even today there are people who are fearful of how differing worldview might corrupt or weaken the faith they grew up with or currently believe. There are different ways to deal with this type of fear. Unfortunately, in history and even today we see that some people think that violence and force is the only way to protect their worldview or to keep an opposing worldview from growing in popularity. However, this is not the way of Jesus Christ. We see that Jesus sacrificed his life to bring peace, rather than sacrificing the lives of others to build his kingdom. Greycen, I think this speaks to your question as well! Jesus constantly was reaching out in love and grace to “people who didn’t deserve it”. He had told his disciples that if someone hit them they should turn the other cheek, or to walk an extra mile even if they were being mistreated by an authority. Specifically in Matthew 5: 44-45 he goes on to say But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. In healing the soldier who was about to take his life, he was living out perfect love for God the Father and perfect love for others. He did not command his followers to do anything that he would not do himself. When we love others even when we disagree with them or even if they hurt us, we are walking in the perfect love of God.

This is one of the amazing things about the story of Paul. After he finds Jesus, he goes to people that are completely different than him-gentiles! People who believed in many gods or no gods at all, and he got to know them and love them and shared the truth of Jesus with them.

It’s important today to remember that one way powerful way to fight fear is by learning about other religions and becoming friends with people who believe differently than you. Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself, and that everyone is your neighbor. When we view all others as our neighbor and make it our goal to love them, we learn to respect and value every person even when we disagree with their views.

Keep asking good questions and spread the love of Jesus even with people who seem completely different than you!

Michelle

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Michelle, :sunflower:

The students so look forward to your responses, as do I, :smiley: we are all learning so much through asking questions.

Thank you for the personal greeting you gave the kids in your letter, you are their physical connection to RZIM and Ravi. At their tender age, they may not fully see, or comprehend what this fusion in relationship may mean, however, I do and I am most grateful to you and excited for what God will bring through this union. :tulip:

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Samuel: Is there any information on Joseph, Jesus’ earthly dad?

Hi Samuel,

What a great question! Growing up I wondered about what happened to Joseph, since we don’t hear much about him after later in Jesus life. The majority of the information we get about Joseph come from Matthew and Luke, most of the details are about the birth of Jesus and his final mention come when Jesus is about 12 years old. This leads many scholars to believe that Joseph may have been much older than Mary, and that he probably died before Jesus’ public ministry began. Even though we do not have a record of when or how Joseph died, many scholars believe it was before Jesus ministry because Joseph isn’t mention at times when Mary or the rest of the family are brought back into the story. At Jesus death, He asks John to take care of his mother, there is good reason to believe he did this because she was a widow and he wanted to make sure that she was cared for.

Here is a good article that puts everything we know from scripture about Joseph in a quick outline:

There are some streams of Christianity that have traditions that have been handed down about Joseph, but they cannot be verified as well as the documents of the New Testament. The truth of the matter is, what we have in the Bible is really the only verifiable historical facts that we can gain information from. What we know of Joseph seems to be that he was quite an awesome man of faith, to trust God enough to stand by the woman he was engaged to even when she was having a child that wasn’t his. He also took God’s word seriously, when he was warned of things in dreams he listened and obeyed! I think we can all learn a great lesson from Joseph’s deep trust of God’s character.

Thanks again for you question! Michelle

Hi Mike,

I’m so glad you found it helpful. I think there are definitely parts of scripture that leave much of what you describe open for us to muse about. It is that much more powerful that James ended up as key witness to the resurrection and an author of scripture!

Be Blessed,
Michelle

Thank You Michelle ,
I think James has gotten a bit of a bad rap for being the brother of Jesus and having reservations about
His divine nature at first when actually growing up with Jesus and knowing him in what must have been a largely unremarkable way made the realization that much more difficult for him than for somebody that had never met Jesus before His public ministry.
By the same token this must have also made the moment that the Holy Spirit whispered to James that he had grown up playing , eating , working with the Holy One of Israel & The Eternal Hope Of Heaven a salvation experience uniquely dramatic in the realization that he had spent all those years in the presence of the Son of God .
I cannot imagine how you could even get your mind around such a thing without the Holy Spirit’s help.
Can you imagine at that moment going back in your mind through the years growing up with Jesus
and possibly recalling maybe what were once just certain curious moments or somewhat puzzling experiences with Him, that now suddenly take on a direct connection to the very Throne of Heaven ?
Kind Regards, Mike
" The Father sent His Son to be the Savior of the World " ( 1 John 4:14 )