James 3 is a fascinating chapter. It has several layers to it that are worth noting. He starts the chapter with a warning: beware of becoming a teacher - the stakes are high and the accountability is higher. With that warning he launches into a masterful teaching of the tongue - masterful for his use of metaphor and simplicity. His teaching on the tongue is potent, and memorable. His brother was a masterful teacher, and so is he. The second half of the chapter takes an interesting twist. He moves from a fascinating section on the tongue (full of metaphors), to a section on wisdom that is unlike his section on the tongue. The section on wisdom sounds like he took some of Paul's teachings and Jesus' teachings and meshed them together. How do these three sections tie together (the warning to teachers, the metaphors on the danger of the tonue, and the benefits of wisdom)? A teacher must use the tongue wisely and use the tongue to teach wisdom, since teachers will be judged more strictly.
Did you notice how many questions James asks in this chapter? Do you prefer to have people ask you questions or tell you what to do? What did you learn from this chapter about teachers, your tongue, and the benefits of wisdom? Did you notice that the last verse of the chapter sounded a lot like one of the Beatitudes? Which Beatitude?