Devotional: ‘The Sons of Thunder’ 

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Scripture tells us that Jesus gave a nickname to James and his brother John. He called them ‘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 opinions. Apparently, James and John were very intense and outspoken.

THEY WERE OUTSPOKEN AGAINST THOSE THEY THOUGHT WERE WRONG

Mark 9:38 Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.” NKJV

In other words, “Do You want us to do something to stop them?”

THEY WERE NOT SHY WHEN IT CAME TO PROMOTING THEMSELVES

Mark 10:35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.” 36 And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 37 They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.” NKJV

THEY WERE OVERLY CRITICAL AND UNCARING

Luke 9:51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” NKJV

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Jesus intentionally chose James and John to be two of His disciples and we know that He eventually used them in a powerful way. But before Jesus could accomplish His will through them, their strong personalities had to be brought under the His control. Consider Paul’s words concerning the needed character of Christ’s followers –

Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. NKJV 

Verse 12 speaks of a virtue called ‘meekness.’ Sometimes this particular word is translated as ‘gentleness.’ Gentleness or meekness is the opposite of self–assertiveness or self–interest. According to what we have just read, meekness is also associated with other virtues such as mercy, kindness, humility, patience, and forgiveness.

There is much more for us to study on this important subject, so I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Until then, God bless you brethren.

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