Many of you know that Jesus gave a nickname to James and his brother John: “The Sons of Thunder.” (see Mark 3:17) The term Jesus used refers to someone who is full of fire, especially when it comes to expressing their thoughts and feelings. Apparently James and John were very intense and sometimes outspoken. For instance –
1. They Were Not Hesitant to Correct Those They Thought Were in the Wrong
Mark 9:38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
2. They Were Aggressive
Mark 10: 35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. 36 And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? 37 They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.
3. They Could Be Overly Critical and Uncaring
Luke 9:51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, 52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. 53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
In their zeal, James and John thought that they were doing the right thing. When they saw that the Samaritans were not willing to receive Jesus, they thought the right thing to do would be to destroy them. Yet their aggressiveness caused them to be overly critical and uncaring.
We all have unique spirits and personalities. Some of us are quiet and shy, while others of us are strong and aggressive. Jesus chose James and John to be two of His disciples and we know that He used them in a powerful way. Yet their strong personalities had to be brought under the Master’s control. The Bible speaks of a particular virtue called ‘meekness.’ Meekness is not weakness. Meekness is power under control.
Are you like James and John? Are you a Son or Daughter of Thunder? God has great things that He wants to do through your life, but before He can – your strength must be brought under His control.