As we read the first chapter and verse of this book as the introduction by James, one would have expected him to start his introductory notes as being the brother of our Lord Jesus, but he didn’t. Rather, he introduced himself as His servant. Another word that can be used to describe a servant in this context is the word SLAVE. The Greeks used the word ‘DOULOS’, which when transliterated means SLAVE. The use of this word by James was based on the notion that slaves were bought by people and were also set free by the people who bought them. In other words, Jesus bought James from the slave market and set him free through His death, burial and resurrection.
He directed his letter to the uncountable Jews who were in diaspora – in the many cities and countries outside Jerusalem, which was their home. Many rulers did not particularly like them especially that of Rome – Caligula and Nero were prominent rulers who couldn’t stand them. The resultant effect of this hatred turned out to be abject suffering, persecution, and painful trials (also described as tribulation). Many other trials and pains suffered by these people (Jews) came from their own people – particularly from the Jews who had refused to accept the message of the Gospel. Some were subjected to socio-economic pressures by their taskmasters who thought they would refute Jesus as the Christ and turn back to Judaism.