Friday, December 18, 2009

Why were James and John called "Sons of Thunder"?

Question from Daniel:

What did Jesus mean when he called James and John "Sons of Thunder"?

Answer from Pastor Bob:

Mark 3:17 says that when Jesus chose the twelve disciples, he chose two hot-heads named James and John, whom he nicknamed the “Sons of Thunder.”

According to Mark 10:35-45, James and John asked Jesus to let them have the greatest position and sit at his right and left side, and the other disciples were jealous when they heard about it.
According to Mark 9:49, John stopped a man who was driving out demons because "he is not one of us."
So basically, James and John were way too outspoken and opinionated. Jesus had to teach them to adjust their attitude and learn a spirit of humility and cooperation.


  1. Bob, James and John could have been outspoken but also if I remember correctly there was a passage, I can not remember where now that James and John both asked Jesus if they could throw fire from heaven. This leads me to think that maybe James and John thought that they themselves were some kind of gods. It surprises me that Jesus would give these men names that they might later on be referred to as some kind of god.

    Also in my new king james version it say the other 10 were displeased and not jealous. is there a difference? And I myself do not see what this has to do with Christ naming James and John the "sons of thunder".

    Again, I say that I really find it interesting that Christ would give 2 of his disciples names that might be later on referred to as Greek gods. Because when you think if Thunder you think of Zeus and he was the god of thunder in greek mythology.

  2. You can't take what Jesus said literally when He said, "Sons of Thunder". It was a metaphore, discribing there personality or there way of thinking and/or the way they react toward certain situations. There responses were thunderous or like thunder. Loud, random, and piercing to the ear, etc...
    So according to my studies Pastor Bob is correct...

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  4. have to disagree. the scripture no where says they were loud or that they were angry,scary pr contentious. Saul's name was not change to killer. in the Bible God's voice is referred to as thunder. when God gives a new name it does not represent your old self.

  5. So I guess what you are saying Cornelia brown is that Jesus called them the brothers or Sons of the voice of God ?? that is cool with me lol I was just on here looking for something to kowinkadink with the fact that the to head couches of the 49ers and the Ravens are brothers and there names are James and John to have something to talk about with my hubby and bring the word to him in a way maybe he could relate you see he really does not care to know so I keep to try and see what happens. Thanks :-).

  6. God is not the author of confusion. Ya'll need to stop acting and talking as though you were given some direct verbal message from God himself explaining exactly what and why. Stop using your man made titled to validate your authority to speak merely your opinions. If your opinion is causing confusion, God ain't in it cause he didn't author confusion. So don't speak for Him, or in His name. I don't care how many years you went to bible school or how many churches you've pastored. Those works didn't earn you merit badges to rise to a higher level than those who haven't followed your same path. Peace be unto thee.

  7. It sounds s if RMW is correct. The Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducee's were also the "experts" but they didn't have the right answers either. Now, I'm not saying I do. This is just my own thought. As Jesus renamed Simon to Peter (which we are told means a rock) maybe of God's plan for him, It's possible that James and John would turn out to be the firery preachers who were able to stir up a crowd. Since it is not explained, it almost seems like it's not really important, just a side comment. I'll ask them when I get to Heaven.

  8. They were also the one's whose mother wanted them seated by Christ in heaven. ..along with Peter were considered the Pillars (Galatians 2:7-9). They had been fisherman and Peter had doubted so many times. It would seem they were undoubtedly Chosen to "Follow Me' not because of their 'strengths' but because of their weaknesses which was to be outspoken and boisterous. Their strengths were only misdirected and Christ would Lead them Home along the Way of Righteousness. Next to come was the loud and fully 'right in his own mind' Saul, who came to be called Paul. They all have something in common and that was an inner strength of their own, but when seeing the Light literally (who was there on the mount of Olives?) their humility which was probably a deep embarrassment in finding they were wrong but in their 'wrongness' they found Glory in being made Right with God..they literally saw Jesus Himself in His Person, but 'blessed is he who has not seen and yet still believes!"..It gave them ZEAL above and beyond the commoner who wouldn't normally have such strong inner conviction prior to being converted by The Faith of God, in Spirit and in Truth. Christ knew in advance what they would come to be...look at the other books in the New Testament..the letter by Peter, James, Paul, and writings of John take up almost all of the New a result. See Romans 11:7-11 concerning this 'zeal' that would come to some of those in the future so that the original Jews would be made 'jealous'. Isaiah 58:1, ""Cry loudly, do not hold back; Raise your voice like a trumpet, And declare to My people their transgression And to the house of Jacob their sins." Boanerges (ˌbəʊəˈnɜːdʒiːz)
    1. (Bible) New Testament a nickname applied by Jesus to James and John in Mark 3:17
    2. a fiery preacher, esp one with a powerful voice