St. James the Apostle, Radiant Light for Christ

St. James the Apostle, Radiant Light for Christ

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Boanerges, or “sons of thunder,” aptly described Jesus’ impetuous disciples James and John, the sons of Zebedee (Mark 3:17). James and John, who were fishermen when Jesus called them, were prominent among the twelve disciples.

They were both present with Jesus at important moments in his ministry: the raising of Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:37-43); Jesus’ transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-2); and his time of darkness in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-37).

The mother of these two disciples recognized her sons’ importance to Jesus and asked him to grant them places of honor in the kingdom of heaven. It seems that she and her sons were seeking godly greatness according to worldly terms. Jesus responded: “You do not know what you are asking” (Matthew 20:22). When he questioned whether they would be able to drink the same “cup” that he was to drink, James and John confidently proclaimed that they could. However, they probably did not completely understand what this “cup” meant.

Jesus taught James that true discipleship was not achieved through power, authority, or recognition,…

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