Devotional Readings, M'Cheyne Bible Reading Notes

Luke 6 and James 4

Much can be said about these passages, but the one point I want to make is that James seems to have understood Jesus’ teaching as Luke reports it.. Whether he was there originally or learned this later we don’t know 100% for sure, but Old John Gill gives us this account.

BTW for some good discussion of right and wrong judging try reading Mike’s work at:

Possessing the Treasure

Luk 6:12  And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

Luk 6:13  And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

Luk 6:14  Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,

Luk 6:15  Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,

Luk 6:16  And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.

James the son of Alphaeus; sometimes called James the less, and the brother of our Lord: and (Gill)

John Gill…Now, that James, who was present at the transfiguration of Christ, was James the son of Zebedee: but neither the time, nor occasion, nor matter of this epistle, seem to agree with him, for he was put to death by Herod, about the year 44, Act 12:1, whereas this epistle was written, as some think, about the year 60, or as others, 63; and it seems pretty manifest that it must be written after the Gospel had been spread in the Gentile world, and was received by the Jews, who were scattered abroad in it; and after many hypocrites had crept into the churches, and many false teachers, and vain boasters, and wicked men, had arisen among them: it seems therefore more agreeable to ascribe this epistle to James, the son of Alphaeus, sometimes called the brother of our Lord, and who was present at the assembly at Jerusalem, when the necessity of the Gentiles’ circumcision was debated, Act 15:1 and is the same whom Eusebius (a) calls James the just, and Oblias; and who seems to have resided at Jerusalem, and to have been the bishop, or overseer of the church there; and therefore in character writes this epistle to the Jews, in the several parts of the world: nor need there be any doubt of the authenticity of it. Eusebius indeed says (b), that it had been accounted spurious by some, and that not many of the ancient writers had made mention of it: but he himself says, that it was publicly read in most churches; and certain it is, that some very early writers have respect unto it. Irenaeus (c) manifestly refers to it, and so does Tertullian (d); and it is expressly mentioned by Origen (e) among the canonical books of Scripture. The objections against it are of no weight, which are taken from the seeming disagreement between the Apostle Paul, and the writer of this epistle, concerning the doctrine of justification; and from his calling the law the perfect law of liberty, and insisting so much on the doctrine of works; all which will be seen to be agreeable to the other parts of Scripture, and easily reconciled with them; nor is there anything in it unworthy of an apostle and an inspired writer. The occasion of it seems to be partly the troubles and persecutions which attended the saints for the sake of Christ and the Gospel; and the design of it is to encourage them to patience under them, and to wait and hope for the speedy coming of Christ; and partly the evil practices of some that boasted of their faith and knowledge, though they lived very dissolute lives: and the view of the apostle is to show, that faith, without the fruits of righteousness, is not genuine; and he very largely in it exhorts to several duties very becoming Christians, and inveighs against several vices, which were scandalous to them.

Judging Others

Luk 6:37  Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

Luk 6:38  Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Luk 6:39  And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?

Luk 6:40  The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

Luk 6:41  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Luk 6:42  Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.

A Tree and Its Fruit

Luk 6:43  For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Luk 6:44  For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

Luk 6:45  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Build Your House on the Rock

Luk 6:46  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Luk 6:47  Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:

Luk 6:48  He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

Luk 6:49  But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

Jas 4:11  Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

Jas 4:12  There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

Boasting About Tomorrow

Jas 4:13  Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

Jas 4:14  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Jas 4:15  For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

Jas 4:16  But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

Jas 4:17  Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Hearing and Doing the Word

Jas 1:19  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

Jas 1:20  For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

Jas 1:21  Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

Jas 1:22  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Jas 1:23  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

Jas 1:24  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

Jas 1:25  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Jas 1:26  If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

Jas 1:27  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Faith Without Works Is Dead

Jas 2:14  What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

Jas 2:15  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

Jas 2:16  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

Jas 2:17  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Jas 2:18  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Jas 2:19  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Jas 2:20  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Jas 2:21  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

Jas 2:22  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

Jas 2:23  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Jas 2:24  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Jas 2:25  Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

Jas 2:26  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

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