Updated: Jul 25
This week let’s take a closer look at one of the sons of thunder, the apostle John. The first thing the Holy Spirit revealed to me in my study was Jesus prophetically named His “inner circle” before they began their ministry.
“He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons. So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Then he went home;”
Mark 3:13-19 NRSV
Notice how in verse 13, Jesus called the ones He wanted and they CAME to him. They all said yes to the Lord. Then we see among the twelve, three were called by a “different” name even before they began the ministry of the gospel. Peter, James and John later became known as Jesus’s inner circle, but Jesus prophetically identified them from the beginning. He spoke out their destiny and they chose to walk in it.
On one occasion, when the people in a village of Samaria were not responsive to the message of Jesus, it was James and John who wanted to call down fire from heaven on them (see Luke 9:54). When Jesus spoke of His own impending death, about how he would be betrayed and then handed over to the Gentiles to be mocked, spit upon, scourged, and ultimately killed, James and John blurted out, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask. . . . Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory” (Mark 10:35, 37 NKJV).
I have heard sermons and read commentaries regarding the meaning of the name Boanerges. Most of my past information had focused on John, as a man of thunder (blunt, ambitious forceful) being transformed into the apostle of love. But the Lord has revealed something new to me in regard to the apostle John. As I was researching the meaning of the name Boanerges, I found this definition from an Aramaic translation (Benay-Regah): sons of loud shouts or passionate sons; figuratively meaning:
Any declamatory and vociferous preacher or orator.
Wow, this discovery quickened by Spirit. The new perspective suddenly opened my Spirit to not only see John as being transformed from one “not so good thing” into something better, but I heard Jesus prophetically identifying John’s destiny and calling it forth! I heard, “John, you will preach and write about the love of Jesus”. Jesus invited John into a unique relationship with Him and John fully trusted Christ’s love for him. Could it be John’s created disposition was fiery, and passionate SO when Jesus called him forth, he began to believe how special he was to God and with his fiery position pursued Christ with zeal? Maybe the love of Christ consumed John and his whole heart was devoted to Christ because he BELIEVED when God called him into relationship and destiny.
John wrote five books of the bible (more than any of the original apostles). He spent quality time with the Lord. While On the cross, Jesus appointed John to care for His mother, Mary. Prominent leaders in the early church claimed to learn directly from John. John lived a long life and was the only one of the twelve not martyred.
John knew with every fiber of his being, that he was the disciple that Jesus loved. In the book of 1 John alone, the word “love” is expressed 40 times! My heart soared this week as i pursued the providence of John’s calling. At least six times in the book of John, he calls himself the disciple that Jesus loved. He KNEW IT, he walked in it!
Let's close by reading a passage in 1 John. As you read, ponder on any area that your heart condemns itself. Is there a name Jesus has spoken over you to call you forth? Have you come to Him wholeheartedly? Is there a name someone else has called you that is not true and condemns your heart? Have you asked Jesus to redeem that name?
Spend some time talking to Jesus about your destiny. As you believe and receive His love, may you walk in boldness. You ARE the disciple Jesus loves. May your heart receive His love.
“Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this, we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.”
1 John 3:18-22 NRSV