THE TWELVE APOSTLES-JAMES THE LESS
He is known as the Son of Alphaeus and James, the Less (Mk. 15:40). He may have been called the Less (Grk. mikros) because he was small, or because he was young. He is the Apostle we know the least about. If James the son of Alphaeus is to be identified with James the Less from the Mark passage, we then know his mother was Mary and that he had a brother named Joses (Joseph). If his father, Alphaeus, was the same as the man who is the father of Levi (Matthew) them it is possible that James and Matthew are brothers. He too, was from Capernaum and a Galilean. Barclay presents an interesting thesis about James. Since the last four Apostles are lumped together they must have had something in common. He believes they were all members of the Zealot Party, a group wanting to establish autonomy from Rome. This presents an interesting scenario. Here we have Matthew, a tax-collector, working for the Romans and his brother, James, a Zealot! The only way this could happen is by the reconciliation provided by the Lord!
Ministry: The best tradition has it that he preached in Syria.