We call the Friday following Thanksgiving “Black Friday” because retailers open their doors with big sales intended to lure in Christmas shoppers. These sales are a major source of annual income for retailers, and can be the difference between getting their finances in the black (meaning they made a profit for the year), or ending the year in the red (having a net loss). However, the first black Friday was when Jesus died on the cross at noon and the sun refused to shine. God’s gift was our gain, and because of the red that Jesus bled on that Friday, we can end our lives in the black, in the positive rather than the negative. Jesus paid our debt with His own blood and ransomed us from sin.
In verse 13 James says, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit . . .’” The words “Come now,” are intended to draw attention to what he is about to say. It’s like saying, “Come on now . . . do you really mean that?” In this verse James highlights the presumptuous claims that follow. His illustration of foolish boasting is framed by a series of positive confessions about what a person boasts will happen.