How would you like a nickname like “son of thunder?” Ok, how bout “daughter of thunder?” What would be the primary reason for giving someone a nickname like that? Is the person loud, audacious, rude even obnoxious?
In Mark 3, Jesus calls twelve men to be His apostles. Among them are “James, the son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder)” (Mark 3:17). This is the only place in Scripture that mentions the designation of the sons of Zebedee as the Sons of Thunder, and there is no stated explanation as to why Jesus named them this. Jesus doesn’t refer to James and John as “sons of thunder for no good reason! Jesus knew the brothers’ nature when He first met them, and He chose “Boanerges” as a fitting nickname.
In one vivid incident, we see that James and John possessed some truly thunder-like qualities. Jesus and His disciples were traveling through Samaria on their way to Jerusalem when they ran into trouble. Jesus attempted to find accommodations for the night in one place but was met with opposition from the villagers, simply because His destination was Jerusalem—a result of Jew-Samaritan prejudice. “When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, ‘Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?’” (Luke 9:54). Jesus scolded the brother. James and John were two of Jesus’ closest friends, James was the first apostle to be killed (Acts 12:2), while John was the last to die of old age. John’s epistles, written late in his life, hint that he still possessed a fervency of spirit, especially in his denunciations of apostates and deceivers (1 John 2:22; 2 John 7; 3 John 10).
However, it is zeal tempered by love. In fact, in 1 John the word “love” appears over 40 times. When John first met Jesus, he was one of the “Boanerges.” But after walking with Jesus for a lifetime, the “Son of Thunder” earned a new nickname: the “Apostle of Love.” The name Boanerges is a tantalizing enigma. Everywhere one looks, the well-known name Boanerges is said to translate into Sons of Thunder.
Boanerges, (sons of thunder) I found the meaning and impact of that name to be quite interesting. You may as well. Check it out Boanerges | The amazing name Boanerges: meaning and etymology (abarim-publications.com)
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