James concludes his letter with the exhortation in 5.19-20 as, simply, a nutshell summary of the entire teaching – to confront those who have wandered from a living faith.
James is trying to move us beyond the intellectual agreement which many call faith, to move us beyond the mind-only understanding that many call Christianity, to a real, active, living, loving, giving, serving faith.
Rather than read 5.19-20 and think; let’s go and bring a load of people back. Let’s go restore people, redeem people and be the hero. Rather than try and be the hero, we ought to read 5.19-20 and see that WE are the restored, not the restorer, we are in daily need of restoration. We ought to go and tell people about the great Restorer, the great Redeemer.
The book of James ends pretty abruptly and pretty suddenly, there is no blessing, no prayer, no long and luscious goodbyes…it’s almost like look “I’ve told you what you need to know, so, off you go and do it“.
My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
In this text, we are the sinner brought back from wandering, our souls have been saved from death, a multitude of our own sins has been covered.
Let us live in this truth, live a life of living faith, and tell others about the Great Restorer!