James 5


James 5:7

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.

The farmer waits. In his eschatological parables Jesus told stories of masters, noblemen, and bridegrooms being gone “a long time” (Matt. 24:48, 25:5, 25:19). Since Jesus has been gone a long time, he exhorts us to “be like servants waiting for their master” (Luke 12:36). The need to wait is echoed by the epistle writers. “Wait eagerly for our adoption as sons” (Rom 8:23); “We hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it” (Rom 8:25); “We eagerly await a Savior” (Php. 3:20); “Be patient brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits…” (Jas. 5:7); “Wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life” (Jude 1:21).

Jesus and every New Testament writer spoke of the need to wait patiently and eagerly for the Lord’s return. We are to be watchful and ready, but we are not to put life on hold. Plant trees and raise families, and do whatever God put you on this earth to do. Invest, build, dig deep and go long. Let your light shine so others may praise your Father in heaven.


James 5:11

We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.

Full of compassion and is merciful. To be merciful is to be compassionate, so James is really saying the same thing twice for emphasis. Because of his great love (Eph. 2:4), God abounds in mercy toward us (Eph. 2:4, 1 Pet. 1:3).


James 5:15

and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.

Be forgiven. As far as God is concerned, you are forgiven, but you won’t be forgiven – that is, you won’t experience the gift of his forgiveness – unless you receive it by faith (Acts 10:43, 26:18).

On the cross the Lamb of God bore the sins of the whole world (John 1:29, 2 John 2:2). All your sins have been forgiven. But it is only in Christ we have or possess the forgiveness of sins (Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14). See entry for Forgiveness.


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