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Daily Reading: 24th June 2016

Matthew 4.21-22

21 And going on from there He saw two other brothers: James and John, his brother, the sons of Zebedee. They were in the boat with Zebedee mending their nets, and Jesus called them.

22 And immediately, leaving the boat and their father, they followed Him.

James = supplanter (that is someone who takes the place of someone else)

Zebedee = my gift

John = Jehovah is a gracious giver.

What has been said about Simon and Andrew can also be said about James and John. We know that John was the beloved disciple, and that he wrote the gospel of John, and the three letters in the New Testament. It is also most likely that it was John who had the revelation of Jesus. He was on the Island of Patmos when this happened, and he recorded this in the book of Revelation.

We can note that the first four disciples were two sets of brothers, therefore, there would be a sibling love and concern for each of them. This is of great value within the church. Family affection and loyalty can be a great bond within the church. Many smaller churches may have strong foundations that families can bring to it.

Jesus knows this when He calls people to follow Him, and we should recognize the value of family ties.

At the same time we must also be aware that such family ties may cause jealousy to arise within others. This happened amongst the disciples. James and John asked Jesus if they could sit on either side of Him in His glory.

This really upset the other ten disciples:

41) And the ten hearing about James and John became incensed.

The same upset can also affect sincere believers in Jesus within the church. A way in which this can be avoided is to fully understand that we are all called to be part of His Church, and to know and appreciate that it is HIS church, not ours.

Therefore, family ties within the church must always be submitted to Jesus and take account of the feelings of others. Where there are families that are instrumental in the running of a church they need to lovingly seek to widen the base of the church to include those outside their own family circle.

Jesus calls us all to be like Him – a loving self-sacrificing servant.



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