1:1 Jesus Christ. James is called “the Lord’s brother” (Galatians 1:19), and is apparently the one mentioned in Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55 as the first of four “brethren” of Jesus who were sons of Mary. He became the presiding elder in the church at Jerusalem (compare Acts 15:13; 21:18). Because of such credentials, one might expect his epistle to have more personal references, but he only identifies himself in this one verse, as a “bondservant” of the Lord Jesus Christ. He and his brothers did not believe in Jesus during His earthly ministry (John 7:5), and they were not with Mary at the cross (John 19:26). Later, however, possibly as a result of James’ encounter with the Lord after His resurrection, they were converted (I Corinthians 15:7), and were with their mother in the upper room as all the disciples were awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14). James, then, quickly became a leader in the Jerusalem church (Acts 12:17). One of the other brothers, Jude, also became a leader (Jude 1), writing the New Testament epistle that bears his name.