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James 5:7-12

Sunday Morning Bible Study

August 25, 2019


Financial Report – Steve Silagi



Our annual Baptism is coming up on September 22, after 2nd service.  If you’ve never been baptized since you’ve come to faith in Jesus, we encourage you to join us and get wet!

Baptism is simply a step of obedience we take in following Jesus.  It doesn’t save you, it doesn’t change you, it simply makes a statement to your family and friends that you have chosen to follow Jesus, and that you are learning to know what it means to live as someone who is dead to sin and alive to God.

Our baptisms are celebrations – so we will have a big old fashioned church potluck, a giant waterslide for the kids, and best of all – watching those who are choosing to follow Jesus.


The book of James is possibly one of the earliest things written in the New Testament.

It’s thought to have been written around AD 40-50

It was written by James, the half-brother of Jesus.

James’ father was Joseph, while Jesus’ father was God.

Though James didn’t believe Jesus was the Messiah until after the resurrection, James would eventually be recognized as the leader of the church in Jerusalem.

James was known in the early church as “James the Just” because of his great devotion to God and purity of life.

Ancient historian Eusebius describes James’ prayer life, that he…

was frequently found upon his knees begging forgiveness for the people, so that his knees became hard like those of a camel, in consequence of his constantly bending them in his worship of God, and asking forgiveness for the people[1]

While the apostle Paul wrote mainly to Gentiles, James is writing to the Jews.

His teachings are going to be very practical (hence our “tools” pic) and will draw much from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, as well as the book of Proverbs.

Our next section is unique because it’s specifically addressed to “the brethren” – over and over again.

5:7-12 To The Brethren

:7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.

:7 Therefore …

He’s drawing a conclusion from the previous paragraph about the abuse of the rich toward the poor

What do you do when people are taking advantage of you?

We need to learn what it means to “be patient”, and the example James gives of patience is the farmer who waits patiently for …

be patientμακροθυμέω makrothumeo (“long” + “temper”) – to be of a long spirit, not to lose heart; to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles; to be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others; to be mild and slow in avenging; to be longsuffering, slow to anger, slow to punish.

aorist active imperative

the comingπαρουσία parousia – presence; the coming, arrival

, advent; the future visible return from heaven of Jesus, to raise the dead, hold the last judgment, and set up formally and gloriously the kingdom of God

(Matthew 24:3 NKJV) Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

farmergeorgos – a husbandman, tiller of the soil, a vine dresser

waits forekdechomai – to receive, accept; to look for, expect, wait for, await

present middle indicative

precioustimios – as of great price, precious; held in honour, esteemed, especially dear

waiting patientlymakrothumeo – to be of a long spirit, not to lose heart; to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles; to be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others; to be mild and slow in avenging; to be longsuffering, slow to anger, slow to punish

it receiveslambano – to take, receive

aorist active subjunctive

rainhuetos – rain

earlyproimos – early; of the early rain which fell from October on

latteropsimos – late, later; of the time of subsidence of the waters of the Nile

Easton’s Dictionary:

There are three Hebrew words used to denote the rains of different seasons,
1. Yoreh #Ho 6:3 or moreh #Joe 2:23 denoting the former or the early rain.
2. Melqosh, the "latter rain" #Pr 16:15
3. Geshem, the winter rain, "the rains." The heavy winter rain is mentioned in #Ezr 10:9 So 2:11
The "early" or "former" rains commence in autumn in the latter part of October or beginning of November #De 11:14 Joe 2:23 comp. #Jer 3:3 and continue to fall heavily for two months. Then the heavy "winter rains" fall from the middle of December to March. There is no prolonged fair weather in Palestine between October and March.  The "latter" or spring rains fall in March and April, and serve to swell the grain then coming to maturity #De 11:14 Ho 6:3 After this there is ordinarily no rain, the sky being bright and cloudless till October or November. Rain is referred to symbolically in #De 32:2 Ps 72:6 #Isa 44:3,4 Ho 10:12

:7 the early and latter rain

Ancient Israel did not have the aid of modern irrigation for its crops.  The farmer was dependent upon the rains.

In Israel, rain falls from October through April of each year, and generally during three different periods. The Old Testament uses three different words to describe the rains.

1. Early Rains (Heb. Yoreh) fell in October and November.
These rains soften the ground and make it ready for planting.
2. Winter Rains (Heb. Geshem) fell from December through February.
These are the heavier rains, helping the crops to grow.
3. Latter Rains (Heb. Melqosh) fell in March and April.
These were the rains that ripened the fruit.  They were the last rains before the drought of summer.

The farmer doesn’t plant his seeds and reap the harvest in a couple of days, he has to wait for the entire growing season that begins with the early rains and ends with the latter rains.


Give God time

A farmer knows that it takes time for his crop to be planted, grow, ripen, and harvest. 
Here’s a wheat field in Montana… over nine months…
Video:  Beautiful Time-Lapse of Growing Wheat
In our context, James is talking about dealing with difficult people, and sometimes that takes time.
I know it’s hard when a relationship is struggling.  You want to say the magic words and make all the pain and difficulty go away.
But some things take time.
I’m not saying that you don’t have things you can be doing, changes you can make, counseling you can seek…
Make sure you give God time to work.
You don’t know what God is wanting to do.
It’s possible that the person you’re struggling with is someone in whom God is also at work, trying to influence and change.
Sometimes the patience we show to others can be the healing influence that can move the other person to seek the One who loves them so very, very much.
Helen Keller was 19 months old when she became blind and deaf because of an illness.
For the next four years of her life she lived in a black fog, not having any idea of language or communication.
Her parents brought in a teacher named Annie Sullivan, who started by spelling words into her hands beginning with the word “d-o-l-l”.  Helen didn’t have a clue what Annie was doing.
The big breakthrough came after a month, when Annie was running cool water over Helen’s hands and spelling out “water”.
“Writing in her autobiography, The Story of My Life, Keller recalled the moment. “I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motions of her fingers. Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten — a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that w-a-t-e-r meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. The living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, set it free!” [13]
Sometimes it takes patience for that breakthrough to happen.
We like to measure things in nano-seconds, but God works on a different time table. 
Remember the farmer.

:8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

:8 You also be patient

be patientμακροθυμέω makrothumeo (“long” + “temper”) – to be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others; slow to anger, slow to punish

aorist active imperative
This word and its various forms are woven through our text today – it’s the key word in the passage.
In vs. 7 it’s “be patient” and “waiting patiently”
In vs. 8 it’s “be patient”
In vs. 10 it’s “patience”
This word seems to be uniquely connected to people and relationships.
This is not so much as being patient in difficult circumstances, it’s being patient with difficult people.


Patience isn’t optional

Sometimes we seem to think that impatience with people is just a character flaw or a harmless little personality defect we have.
God thinks patience is a necessity.  James commands it.
God is “patient”

(2 Peter 3:9 NKJV) The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Love is “patient”

(1 Corinthians 13:4 NASB95) Love is patient, love is kind

Patience is a fruit of the Spirit

(Galatians 5:22 ESV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience

We are to be patient with one another

(Ephesians 4:2 NLT) Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

Remember Helen Keller?  Here’s clip from a movie about her life:
Video:  The Miracle Worker – Helen’s First Lesson

Remember it wouldn’t be for another whole month before the real breakthrough (“water”) would occur.

“Patience” sounds easier in church than it is in real life.

But with God’s help, we can cultivate it in our life.

:8 Establish your hearts

Establishστηρίζω sterizo (“steroids”) – to make stable; to strengthen, make firm

aorist active imperative


Spiritual Steroids

“Establishing” or “strengthening” is something the apostles constantly worked at with the churches.
Several times in the book of Acts we read about Paul’s ministry (Acts 14:21-22; 15:32; 15:41; 18:23)

(Acts 14:21–22 NKJV) —21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”

(Acts 15:32 NKJV) Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words.

 (Acts 15:41 NKJV) And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

(Acts 18:23 NKJV) After he had spent some time there, he departed and went over the region of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.

Video:  Hanz & Franz Train Aaron Rodgers
We need to learn to “pump up” our hearts in the faith.
We “pump up”  our faith through the practice of the spiritual disciplines of prayer, daily Bible reading, and healthy connections with other believers.
Peter talks about how we are to be “established” (2Pet. 1:12) when he tells his readers …
(2 Peter 1:12 NKJV) For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.
(2 Peter 1:5–8 NLT) —5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. 8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

These are the kinds of things that will “pump up” your heart.

:8 the coming of the Lord is at hand

comingparousia – presence; the coming, arrival, advent; the future visible return from heaven of Jesus, to raise the dead, hold the last judgment, and set up formally and gloriously the kingdom of God

is at handeggizo – to bring near, to join one thing to another; to draw or come near to, to approach

The farmer is able to be patient with his fields and wait all the way until the latter rains come in March and April because he is looking forward to seeing the precious fruit of his crops.

It’s a little easier to be patient with difficult people if we keep our eyes on Jesus coming back rather than how much trouble those idiots are causing us.

:9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!

:9 Do not grumble against one another

grumbleστενάζω stenazo – a sigh, to groan

present active imperative
The word is usually translated “groan”.

Again, in our relationships with difficult people, are there people in your life that are so dumb they cause you to “groan” or let out a big “sigh”, or maybe make you “facepalm”?

Video:  Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult – Best Picture

We “groan” as we wait for our new resurrected bodies (Rom. 8:23; 2Cor. 5:2,4))

(Romans 8:23 NKJV) Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

(2 Corinthians 5:2 NKJV) For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,

(2 Corinthians 5:4 NKJV) For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.

We need to be careful how we treat spiritual leaders (Heb. 13:17).

(Hebrews 13:17 NKJV) Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

We want to make sure that we aren’t the cause of them “groaning” to God for our lack of respect.

condemnedkatakrino – to give judgment against, to judge worthy of punishment; to condemn

aorist passive subjunctive

You’re going to have people that “stupid” in your life.  So why shouldn’t we “grumble”?

:9 the Judge is standing at the door

the Judgekrites – one who passes or arrogates to himself, judgment on anything

atpro – before

doorthura – a door; the vestibule; used of any opening like a door, an entrance, way or passage into

is standinghistemi – to cause or make to stand, to place, put, set; to stand; to stand by or near

perfect active indicative

There’s an interesting connection with this phrase and James’ death.

One of the earliest accounts of James’ death comes through Hegesippus, who lived right after the times of the apostles.

One of the earliest of church historians was Eusebius, who lived in the 4th century (314 AD) recorded how James died.  His main historical source was the account of a man named Hegesippus, who lived right after the time of the apostles.
James was apparently a Nazirite, never cut his hair, never used anointing oil, and never took a bath (or perhaps, a mikveh)
He was known for spending such long times of prayer in the Temple that his knees grew as callused as a camel.
He had a great impact on the Jews in Jerusalem and had led many to faith in Jesus.
Among other things, James had been telling people about the “gate of Jesus” – apparently a reference to the way into heaven.  Jesus Himself had said,
(John 14:6 NKJV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
When asked about this “gate of Jesus”, James responded by saying that Jesus was the Savior.

Many came to faith when James said this.

The Jewish leaders were so concerned about his impact on the Jews, that they begged him to go to the pinnacle of the Temple, clarify what he meant by “the gate of Jesus”, and tell people to stop following Jesus.
And he answered with a loud voice, ‘Why do ye ask me concerning Jesus, the Son of Man? He himself sitteth in heaven at the right hand of the great Power, and is about to come upon the clouds of heaven.[2]
The Jewish leaders realized they had made a big mistake in letting James speak, and they pushed him off the pinnacle of the Temple.  James didn’t die from the fall so they stoned him and beat him to death with a club.
This all took place very close to the time when the Romans laid siege to Jerusalem and destroyed it.  Many at that time claimed that Jerusalem was destroyed because of their treatment of “James the Just”.

Yet our passage is talking about more than just Jesus being the Messiah.

The verb “standing” if a perfect tense, something done in the past and continues on into the present.
Jesus has been standing at the door.  And He’s still there.
When Stephen was on trial for following Jesus:
(Acts 7:56 NKJV) and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

When Stephen said this, the Jews rushed upon him and stoned him to death.

The picture here in James is not just Jesus being the door to heaven, but that He is standing there waiting and watching.
He’s got His eye on you.
You don’t need to be grumbling about other people as if nobody cares for you.
Jesus cares for you and He knows all that’s going on in your life.  He’s right at the door.  And He’s coming through the door soon.

:10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience.

takelambano – take; receive

aorist active imperative

an examplehupodeigma (“under” + “expose”) – a sign suggestive of anything, delineation of a thing, representation, figure, copy; an example: for imitation; of the thing to be imitated

sufferingkakopatheia – the suffering of evil, i.e. trouble, distress, afflicted

patiencemakrothumia – patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance; patience, forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs

spokelaleo – to speak

aorist active indicative

:10 an example of suffering and patience

The word “suffering” (kakopatheia) means literally “suffer evil”

The word for “patience” is the noun form of the word we’ve been working with, makrothumia.

If you want a good example to follow of what “patience with difficult people” looks like, then think about the Old Testament prophets like…

Elijah had to put up with Ahab and Jezebel who wanted him dead.
Isaiah was put to death by his own grandson Manasseh.
Jeremiah was imprisoned in a deep muddy cistern.

:11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.

:11 we count them blessed who endure

We don’t think that a prophet is anything special because he “quit”, but only that he kept going, even to the end.

count them blessedmakarizo – to pronounce blessed

present active indicative

endurehupomeno – to remain; to remain i.e. abide, not recede or flee; to preserve: under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one’s faith in Christ; to endure, bear bravely and calmly: ill treatments

aorist active participle

:11 You have heard of the perseverance of Job

In vs. 11, the word “endure” and “perseverance” are forms of the same Greek word.

perseveranceὑπομονή hupomone (“under” + “remain”) – endurance

This word is sometimes translated “patience”, but this is patience in difficult time, not specifically with difficult people.
This is the quality of the person who does not walk away from his faith in even the greatest difficulties but keeps going.
They “remain under” the difficulty.

heardakouo – to hear

aorist active indicative

We might think of the “perseverance of Job” as how he endured losing all his possessions, his family, and his health.

But in the context of our passage, the emphasis has been on relationships, patience with difficult people.
Job was surrounded by difficult friends.
They say you shouldn’t kick a man when he’s down, but that’s exactly what Job’s friends did.
They spent their time arguing that he must have done something horrible to deserve all the trouble he had.
God said they were wrong. 
Job said,

(Job 16:2 The Message) “I’ve had all I can take of your talk. What a bunch of miserable comforters!

:11 seen the end intended by the Lord

Though some see this as a new thought, and see James pointing to how Jesus saw His “end” (death and resurrection), it’s more likely that James is talking about the end of Job’s difficulty.

endtelos – end; termination, the limit at which a thing ceases to be (always of the end of some act or state, but not of the end of a period of time)

Lordkurios – he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord

James is talking about Jesus, how He went to the cross.  That was the “end of the Lord”.

seenoida – to see; to know

aorist active indicative

When you read the book of Job, be sure to read it to the end.

At the end of Job’s troubles, he has not only had his fortunes, health, and family restored, but he’s grown closer to God.

(Job 42:5 NKJV) “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.
Job has learned that God indeed is very compassionate and merciful.
You may not understand the difficulty you are going through, but beloved in the end, when we get to heaven, we will be able to look back and see that God was indeed compassionate and merciful.

:11 the Lord is very compassionate and merciful

very compassionatepolusplagchnos (“much” + “bowels”, “compassion”) – full of pity, very kind

mercifuloiktirmon – merciful; from oikteiro – to pity, have compassion on

The words here remind me of how God described Himself to Moses:

(Exodus 34:6–7 NKJV) —6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…

:12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.

swearomnuo – to swear; to affirm, promise, threaten, with an oath; in swearing to call a person or thing as witness, to invoke, swear by

present active imperative

oathhorkos – that which has been pledged or promised with an oath

leteimi – to be

present active imperative

yesnai – yea, verily, truly, assuredly, even so

noou – no, not; in direct questions expecting an affirmative answer


judgment hupokrisis – an answering; an answer; the acting of a stage player; dissimulation, hypocrisy


judgmentkrisis – a separating, sundering, separation; judgment

:12 let your “Yes” be “Yes”



The issue is this:
The practice of swearing an oath is used as a way of convincing people that you are telling the truth.
Video:  Roy Sullivan Lightning Man

Some people say, “May lightning strike me if I don’t keep my promise to you…”

For most of us it’s an empty oath, though not for Roy Sullivan.

But why does a person swear an oath?

Because for some reason the other person doesn’t trust them.

As we’ve seen time and time again, James is quoting his older brother Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount:
(Matthew 5:37 NKJV) But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

Be a person who has a reputation for keeping his/her word.

How do you do that?  By telling the truth and keeping your word.

Don’t be quick to promise things just because that’s what you think the other person wants to hear.

Don’t promise your kids things that you have no intention of following through on.

In the universe of Star Trek, there’s always one person you can always count upon to tell you the truth, the Vulcan named Spock.
Video: Star Trek - Spock Never Lies
So now you know Spock can lie, does it make you want to trust or believe him?  Maybe not…
How does it affect your relationships when you don’t tell the truth?
Others have a hard time believing anything from them.
God wants His people known for telling the truth.
When we share the gospel with people, it’s imperative that people see that we’re telling them the truth.

[1] Eusebius of Caesaria. (1890). The Church History of Eusebius. In P. Schaff & H. Wace (Eds.), A. C. McGiffert (Trans.), Eusebius: Church History, Life of Constantine the Great, and Oration in Praise of Constantine (Vol. 1, p. 125). New York: Christian Literature Company.

[2] Eusebius of Caesaria. (1890). The Church History of Eusebius. In P. Schaff & H. Wace (Eds.), A. C. McGiffert (Trans.), Eusebius: Church History, Life of Constantine the Great, and Oration in Praise of Constantine (Vol. 1, p. 126). New York: Christian Literature Company.