Q. I have been so blessed by gracethrufaith. My question is: Why were James and John given the name “Sons of Thunder” and what is it’s meaning?
A. Many believe that Jesus chose this nickname because of the dispositions of these fisherman brothers. Apparently, they were short tempered and over reactive. Luke tells of the time when Jesus and his disciples were walking through Samaria. Coming to a village, Jesus sent runners ahead to ask about accommodations for the night. The Samaritans, who hated the Jews, refused them. James and John wanted to call down fire from Heaven and destroy the whole town (Luke 9:51-56).
These brothers were both close friends with Jesus, who charged John with caring for Mary as he was dying (John 19:26-27). James was the first of the original disciples to be martyred (Acts 12:2), and John was the last to die, the only disciple who wasn’t martyred. Reading John’s letters shows how the Holy Spirit tempered his fiery personality into a loving father figure in the early church.