Luke 9: 54 (NKJV) And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”
How do your ambitions characterize your life?
What words would your friends or family use to describe you? Jesus referred to two brothers, James and John, as the Sons of Thunder.
Why? We are given a glimpse of their fiery personalities in the Gospel according to Luke.
After the Samaritan people rejected them, James and John asked Jesus if they should call down fire from heaven to consume the village.
Jesus rebuked them for their impulse to retaliate and took the opportunity to coach them in the basics of servant leadership.
We get a glimpse of their transformation and how their leadership and hearts would be transformed.
Jesus worked in these brothers’ lives so that they became known not for anger and revenge, but for love and forgiveness.
James was the first of the twelve disciples to give his life for his faith. He was killed in Jerusalem by the order of Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:1-2).
John is referred to as the “disciple Jesus loved” (John 13:23). He went on to write powerful words on the importance of love and became an important leader of the church.
The Lord can help you grow to be a person of purpose and Godly ambition.
Though the two brothers had once been ambitious for their own personal gain (Luke 22:24), they ended up courageously sharing God’s love with others for their spiritual gain.
The brothers discovered that when you understand and experience God’s love, you are free to live and grow.
We all can learn from James and John that as you grow and share with others, you will be used by God to touch the lives of many in need of God’s healing help.
There is also the well-known incident when Salome asks Jesus to place one of her sons at His right hand when He establishes His kingdom (Matthew 20:20-21).
Jesus responds sharply to the request by telling them that they do not know what they are asking.
He asks them, “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” (Matthew 20:22) With their typical bravado, they answer, “We can.”
They were still hoping that Jesus was about to establish a political kingdom in Israel.
They did not realize that His kingdom would begin with His sacrificial, atoning death on the cross.
It is somewhat befitting that James becomes the first martyr from among the Twelve.
Acts 12 records that Herod Agrippa had James put to death by the sword probably around 42 A.D. (Acts 12:1-2).
The apostle John was an interesting combination: the disciple Jesus loved, and yet one who could be intolerant and self-seeking.
James would be the first to die a martyr, and yet his brother would live the longest of all the apostles.
Point to ponder
Can you relate to the anger and selfish ambition of these men? If so, be encouraged by God’s work in their lives.
Our Lord wants to do the same in you and me! Enjoy your day, knowing the Lord is doing a great work in your life!
Pastor James Baker, Jr. and our leadership team are especially thankful for those of you who provided financial donations and support in the month of October 2020, by partnering with us in efforts to advance the kingdom of God in this 21st century season: Special thanks to Ms. Cynthia Waiters-Artis, Ms. Annette Straker, Ms. Rita McGuffin, Mr. Kenneth Washington, Ms. Darlene Simmons, Ms. Mable Bazemore, Ms. Evelyn Rosado, Ms. Itholear Abbott, Mrs. Barbara Mason, Ms. Theresa Lewis, Ms. Jeanette Grant, Ms. Judith Battle, Ms. Angela Battle, Ms. Evonne Bazemore, Ms. Rita McGuffin, Mr. William Jones, Mr. Stan Harewood, Ms. Angie Scraders-Murphy, Mr. Calvin Jackson, Mr. Calvin Griffith, and Ms. Gertrude Scott.
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