Aug. 26, 2020

What Does James 5:14 Mean? Part 1

What Does James 5:14 Mean? Part 1

James 5:14-15 (NIV): Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

In yesterday's Bible Podcast, we explored how an individual is to call out to God in prayer when they are afflicted or facing times of trouble. But, just as important as prayer, praise is also important. When you have something good happen to you, turn to God, and give Him the praise. 

Now, today's Bible verse takes a different direction. James 5:14 gives us specific instructions on what to do when we are bedridden and in need of prayer. 

What you will learn in 2 Minutes:

  • What the word "sick" actually means in the Greek language
  • Whose responsibility is it to call for prayer?
  • Who specifically do we call for prayer?


Do you ever find yourself getting frustrated when you read your Bible because you don't understand what it says? If you do, you're not alone. 

I created the Simple Truth Bible Podcast to help you dig deeper and understand more of the Bible.

And no matter how busy life gets, you always have 2 minutes to study God's Word. Just ask your Amazon Smart Speaker to "Alexa, Play Bible study."

Never feel frustrated with your Bible study again. 



Hey, welcome to The Simple Truth. I’m Julie Carruth.

Yesterday, we discovered the interesting culture during James’ time surrounding the early church and healing. 

We’re digging deeper into some hotly debated verses starting in James chapter 5 verses 14 through 15 which says, “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up—and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”

Now, in the previous verse, we explored how those who faced some sort of affliction are told to pray for themselves. However, this verse is addressed to someone who is sick or ill. And we not talking about someone with a cold or the sniffles. The Greek word here refers to someone who is physically frail due to a bodily condition. In other words, they can’t get out of bed, so the elders must come to them. 

Now, the Greek tense here indicates that this is an urgent plea. Like you are desperate. This isn’t some, “Could you please come to me.” No. This is a, “Look, I am dying here. I urgently need you to come pray for me.”

And notice here that the sick took the initiative to call for the elders. He didn’t wait for the church to hear about his illness. Also, note that James didn’t say to call for just any member of the church. He specifically said to call for the elders. The term “elders” refers to ordained ministers of their local church.

Remember, we are really digging deep into these verses because I want you to really understand what James is saying here. So, if we elaborate on what we’ve learned so far, James 4:14 could read like this. “Is anyone among you really ill and weak and can’t even get out of bed to church for prayer? Then you take it upon yourself to call the ordained ministers or elders of your local church and make an urgent plea for them to come pray for you.

So, your Simple Truth for today: When you're bedridden due to illness, call your local church and ask the elders to come pray for you.

You’ll want to join us again tomorrow as we look at the use of oils and what the early church believed, like did it actually have supernatural power in the oil? And what James means when he says to anoint in the name of the Lord. 

Really fascinating stuff here, guys. 

Please share these episodes with those who God lays on your heart and remember to subscribe! This is Julie Carruth and I’ll see you again tomorrow!