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The disciples said to Jesus,
“We know that you will depart from us.

Who is to be our leader?”
Jesus said to them,
“Wherever you are,

you are to go to James the righteous,
for whose sake heaven and earth came into being.”

John 6:68,70

Simon Peter answered him,

“Lord, to whom shall we go?
Your words are words of eternal life.”

Jesus answered,

“Have I not chosen the twelve of you?

(3) Jesus said,
“If those who lead you say to you,

‘See, the kingdom is in the sky,’
then the birds of the sky will precede you.

If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’
then the fish will precede you.

Rather, the kingdom is inside of you,
and it is outside of you.

When you come to know yourselves,
then you will become known,

and you will realize that it is you who are
the sons of the living father.

But if you will not know yourselves,
you dwell in poverty and

it is you who are that poverty.”

It has been suggested that Jesus is using sarcasm in his reference to James, “for whose sake heaven and earth came into being”. Jesus warns his disciples about “leaders” in Saying (3).

I believe James, Jesus’ brother, represented a rival movement in Jerusalem, still obsessed with keeping the Law, and that “James the Just” may even have been considered “the Teacher of Righteousness” or a “Messiah” in his own right.

When heaven and earth remain separate,

leaders may be needed to uphold the Law,


when the two are made One,

“on earth as it is in heaven”,

the Law is no longer needed.

Matthew 5:18

“Truly I tell you: so long as heaven and earth endure,

not a letter, not a dot, will disappear from the law

until all that must happen has happened.“