HEARING AND DOING THE WORD
"Be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only" James 1:22
This letter of James is pre-eminently ETHICAL, PRACTICAL, and FORCEFUL. In it there are more references to, sayings in the Sermon on the Mount than in all the other letters of the New Testament. All this is of great interest when we accept the view, which is almost beyond dispute, that the man who wrote the letter was a BROTHER of the Lord. He had LIVED WITH JESUS in all the early years in Nazareth. While it would seem that he did not join himself outwardly to the disciples till after the Resurrection, there are evidences that in the company of Mary, these brethren were much with Jesus in the central period of His ministry. All this would suggest that, looking back, and thinking of all those years, this man was impressed with the harmony there had always been in the Lord, BETWEEN HIS TEACHING AND HIS LIFE. Thus he argued, and rightly, that a faith which was not expressed in DEEDS was of no value at all. This does not mean that he was in any way ignorant of the deep spiritual mysteries of Christian life. If in these words he urges us to be DOERS OF THE WORD, we must remember that the Word he refers to is that which he has just described as "the inborn word" (vs. 21, marg.). He was referring, not merely to any written Word, nor to his Lord as the Word incarnate alone; but to the Word of God RECEIVED INTO THE SOUL THROUGH THE WRITTEN WORD, and by the Word incarnate. That Word is only of real value as it is OBEYED, as what it commands is done. There is no profit, but rather the reverse, in HEARING, if there be no DOING.