Today’s Scripture: And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: Mark 3:17


Jesus had two disciples named James; James the son of Zebedee and James the son of Alphaeus. We know more about the son of Zebedee, so he is often referred to as James the Greater.

James was the brother of John. He and John became disciples as they were mending their nets. When Jesus told them to follow Him, they obeyed. (Mark 1:19) James was one of the three disciples that went with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. When Christ was going to raise the young damsel from the dead, He would only allow Peter, James, and John with him.

Obviously, James was a key part of Christ’s ministry and a very important leader in the early church. James was the first apostle to be martyred and the only apostle whose martyrdom was recorded in the Bible. (Acts 12:2)

God’s will is not always the way we wish it to be, but it is always the best. We know that God could’ve freed James from Herod since God freed Peter from Herod later in the same chapter. However, God had a reason to allow James to be martyred so soon.

Many people came to trust Christ thanks to the testimony of James. His martyrdom proved that the disciples were not making up the story of the Resurrection. If they were lying, James would not have died for a lie.

Sometimes God allows “bad” things in your life so you can be a great testimony to those around you. If you are serving God with all your heart when things get tough, people will notice that you confidently believe the Gospel is true. That will open many doors for the Gospel. Don’t question God when you are in a trial; keep serving God, and look for opportunities that will come from it.

Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr.