Tag: Matthew

Saluting an Unknown Soldier (James, Son of Alphaeus)

John MacArthurby John MacArthur

The twelve apostles included “James the son of Alphaeus” (Matt. 10:3).

God often uses ordinary people to accomplish great things.

Like most Christians, James the son of Alphaeus is an unknown and unsung soldier of the cross. His distinguishing characteristic is obscurity. Nothing he did or said is recorded in Scripture—only his name.

In Mark 15:40 he is called “James the Less,” which literally means “Little James.” That could refer to his stature (he might have been short), his age (he might have been younger than James the son of Zebedee), or his influence (he might have had relatively little influence among the disciples).

In Mark 2:14 Matthew (Levi) is called the son of Alphaeus. Alphaeus was a common name, but it’s possible that James and Matthew were brothers, since their fathers had the same first name. Also, James’s mother is mentioned in Mark 15:40 as being present at Christ’s crucifixion, along with other women. She is referred to as the wife of Clopas in John 19:25. Since Clopas was a form of Alphaeus, that further supports the possibility that James and Matthew were related.

From those references we might conclude that James was a small young man whose personality was not particularly powerful. If he was Matthew’s brother, perhaps he was as humble as Matthew, willing to serve the Lord without any applause or notice. Whichever the case, be encouraged that God uses obscure people like James, and rewards them accordingly. Someday James will sit on a throne in Christ’s millennial kingdom, judging the twelve tribes of Israel—just like the other more prominent disciples (Luke 22:30).

No matter how obscure or prominent you are from a human perspective, God can use you and will reward you with a glorious eternal inheritance.

by John MacArthur

 

Luke 17, The Lord’s Other End Times Prophecy

Jack Kelley 90x115This Week’s Feature Article by Jack Kelley 

Our Lord gave us a pretty thorough overview of the End Times as they relate to Israel. It’s often called the Olivet Discourse because He was speaking to four of His disciples on the Mt. Of Olives. It was just a couple of  days before He was arrested, and they asked Him about the End of the Age. Matthew’s account of His answer is in chapters 24-25. Mark’s is contained in chapter 13. Luke’s version is a little different in that it also includes a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. You’ll find it in his 21st chapter. (Read “The End Times According To Jesus”)

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