Following Jesus 15

Are you like James? 

Following Jesus refers to being a disciple of Jesus. Being a disciple of Jesus entails following Jesus’ leading and learning from His teaching in order to take upon oneself, by God’s enablement, Jesus’ character.

We began our quest by looking at the character of Simon Peter. The second disciple we examined was Andrew. We now begin looking at James, the son of Zebedee. 

Some facts about James. James was son of Zebedee. He is always mentioned with his brother John in the gospels. He is always listed first before his brother John. This would seem to indicate that James was the elder of the two. Along with Peter, Andrew and John, James was a fisherman (Mark 1:20). He was part of the inner three disciples along with Peter and John. 

According to Mark 3:17, Jesus called James and John Boanerges, which means “Sons of Thunder.” This means a personality that is passionate, zealous, fervent, ambitious and aggressive. James was strong and zealous for the Lord. He was the first apostle to be martyred (Acts 12. His enemies got rid of him fast? Why? Perhaps because he was zealous. John 2:17. “The zeal of thine house has eaten me up. (Psalm 69:9). James was ambitious and goal-orientated.  However, this often appears with a lack of restraint and wisdom. 

Followers of Jesus who are like James are ambitious and goal orientated. To be ambitious means to be determined; one who is constantly striving, motivated and single minded. This is how James thought. This is how James lived. 

Matthew 20:20-24 gives us an example of James’ ambitiousness and goals. “Then the mother (Salome) of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:20-28 ESV)

We will explore this section of Scripture when next we meet. Until then, Soli deo Gloria! 

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