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James 5

5.1-6 You rich people, pay attention

Here James explains why rich people must use their money well.

Rich people must help other people.

Rich people must be fair to the people who work for them.

1 Some of you are rich and have a lot of money.

You should cry.


Because a lot of bad things are going to happen to you.

2 You will lose all your money.

Moths will eat your clothes.

3 Your gold and silver will no longer be valuable.

You have stored up wealth.

One day in the future, these things will speak against you like a witness before a judge.

This witness will say:

That person is bad.

The money you’ve kept for yourselves will be like a fire that will burn you.

We are living in the last days.

There is not much time left.

4 You have a lot of money but you don’t pay fair wages to your workers.

Now these workers speak loudly against you.

God Almighty listens to these workers.

5 Here on the earth you live comfortably.

You use your money for your own desires.

I can explain your situation with an example:

A farmer gives a lot of food to his cows.

Because of this, the cows are fat.

The fat cows are ready to be killed.

You rich people are like fat cows!

6 Here is another of your sins.

Some people didn’t do anything bad or anything against you.

They were not able to defend themselves against you.

But you killed those people anyway.

Wealth rotten by moths

You will lose all your money. Moths will eat your clothes.

Your gold and your silver will no longer be valuable.

5.7-11 Wait patiently

Here James explains why you must be patient.

Jesus is coming again.

You must wait on him patiently.

The prophets are an example for you.

The prophets were very patient.

7 My dear friends, you must wait patiently.

One day in the future, Jesus will come again.

You must follow the example of the farmer.

The farmer waits patiently.

The rain comes twice a year.

It rains for a while then, it doesn’t rain any more.

Later, it rains again.

Because of this, the plants grow and bear fruit.

Then the earth gives the harvest.

8 The farmer waits patiently until he sees the fruit.

You must do the same thing.


Because Jesus will come back soon

9 Some of you complain and speak bad words against other Christians.

Because of this, God will judge you.

Jesus is the judge and he is coming back soon.

10 My dear friends who love Jesus, in the past God talked to the prophets.

Then, the prophets told God’s message to the people.

Many bad things happened to the prophets, but they were patient.

You must copy their example and wait patiently.

11 The prophets suffered a lot.

But they continued to be faithful to the Lord.

God blessed the prophets.

Job is another example.

Job also suffered a lot but continued to be faithful to the Lord.

That is why God blessed Job in the end.

This shows that the Lord is very merciful and helps us.

5.12 Say “Yes” or “No”

Here James explains why you must say “yes” or “no.”

You must not make promises using the name of God.

12 My dear friends, this is the most important thing.

You must not make any promises using the name of God (God is in heaven.)

You must not make any promises using the name of things here on the earth.

You must not make any promises using anything else.

You must say “yes” or “no”, nothing else.

Some people say more than “yes” or “no”.

God will punish these people.

5.13-18 Praying with faith

Here James explains why you must pray with faith.

God wants to heal sick people.

The prophet Elijah is an example.

Elijah prayed with faith.

God listened to Elijah.

13 If you have troubles then you must pray.

If you are happy then you must sing and praise God.

14 If you are sick then you must call the leaders of the church.

The leaders will pray for you, touch you with oil, and say:

Be healed by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

15 Because of these prayers, (said with faith) the sick person will get well.

The Lord Jesus will heal this person.

God will forgive his sins.

16 Because of this you must pray for each other.

Also, you must tell your sins to each other so that God will heal you.

The prayers of good people are powerful.

God answers these prayers.

17 A long time ago there was a prophet named Elijah.

He was just a person like us, nothing else.

He prayed to God:

Please don’t send any more rain.

And it didn’t rain for 3 and 1/2 years.

18 Then Elijah prayed again.

God sent the rain again because of Elijah’s prayer.

Once more, the earth gave a lot of food.

5.19-20 The person who is no longer walking with Jesus

Here James explains why you must help other people who love Jesus.

Sometimes a person stops following Jesus.

God wants to forgive this person.

19 My dear friends, maybe there is a Christian brother who is no longer walking with Jesus.

One of you must look for that person and help him to walk with Jesus again.

20 You must remember something very important.

You might be able to save that person from spiritual death.


By helping him to come back to the truth of the message of salvation.

Even though the brother has committed many sins, God will forgive all of them.