And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons: Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter; James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, 'Sons of Thunder'...
As part of their Captain's inner circle, the brothers, James and John, were key players.** Along with Peter, these two front-runners were singled out by Jesus to witness some life-changing episodes privately: like on the Mount of Transfiguration, where their King's true appearance was revealed. James and John would be named 'Sons of Thunder' (Mark 3:17), to signify their dynamic impact.
Consider some highlights of James and John:
1) They were among the first four apostles. When Jesus called them, immediately they left their boat, nets and father to come. They committed to Him wholeheartedly.
2) Perhaps because of their powerful faith, they were invited on some big missions. First hand, they saw Jesus raise the daughter of Jairus, when doubters were forced from the house.
3) They could be passionately aggressive, like the time they suggested burning down an unfriendly Samaritan village or requested prime seating in Heaven.
4) Following the ascension of Jesus and their commission to spread His Good News, James was the first apostle to be slain, while beloved John was the last to go.
5) Time tempered their fiery dispositions, like two swords with beautifully polished blades or full-bodied wine aged to perfection. Through God, their passion grew focused on love.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: What can the Sons of Thunder teach you? Maybe James and John were intense men. Maybe their faith was energetic. Maybe leaders aren't afraid to ask. Maybe even if their thoughts got grand and they proposed some wrong ideas, Jesus prefers movers and shakers. Because eager hearts with racing minds can be guided and turned to great good. When they are properly leashed by God, they become skillful captains of men.
To Be Continued...
* Short article: Transforming the "Sons of Thunder"? http://www.jesus.org/life-of-jesus/disciples/transforming-the-sons-of-thunder.html
* Short article: Jesus called them sons of thunder, http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/024-sonsofthunder.html
* Short article: Why did Jesus refer to James and John as the sons of thunder?http://www.gotquestions.org/sons-of-thunder.html
** Short article on three major moments where only Christ's inner circle was invited: http://www.parchmentministries.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=143&Itemid=125
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Enemy's Game series.