The First to Die

This past Sunday, we talked about Peter’s brother, Andrew. His quiet, yet tenacious pursuit of Jesus serves as a model for all who follow Jesus. While Andrew is seldom mentioned, he is included in the leadership group of disciples and is passionate about bringing people to Jesus. This week, we come to another lead disciple, James.

James, the elder son of Zebedee, is often described alongside his brother John. In fact, the only time he is named alone in Scripture is when his martyrdom is chronicled (Note: he is the only apostle to have his death recorded in the bible). James and John were nicknamed Sons of Thunder to indicate their fiery personalities. In this week’s study, we will look at two stories that expose James’ temperament. Next week, we will consider his younger brother.

There is little doubt that James plays a significant role among the disciples. He is invited with Peter and John into private encounters with Jesus.

(Mark 5:37 NIV) He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James.

He is also included in the exclusive group of disciples to witness the Transfiguration and is sometimes cited as having confidential conversations with Jesus.

(Mark 13:3 NIV) As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately,

When Herod seeks to destroy the early church, James is the first disciple he kills. This says something about James’ prominence in the early church. Join us on Sunday as we explore James, the brother of John and son of Zebedee. If you would like to read the Scripture for Sunday, you can reference Matthew 20:20-28, Luke 9:51-56, and 2 Kings 1.