“Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets” (Matthew 4:21).
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 7 percent of Americans suffer from Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), which is characterized by repeated bouts of explosive rage that are out of proportion to the situation. Most people with IED often have problems with depression, anxiety, or substance abuse. When untreated, the condition often leads to verbal or physical damage.
In his early years as a disciple of Christ, the apostle James exhibited that kind of fiery temper. He and his brother John—the Sons of Thunder, as Jesus referred to them (Mark 3:17)—were short-fused and vengeful, once desiring to call down fire from heaven and destroy a whole village that had not welcomed Jesus. The Lord’s reprimand was swift: “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them” (Luke 9:55, 56).
Later, with his fury tamed by the grace and peace of Jesus and his passion channelled in the right direction, James was a tremendous encouragement to the early Christian church. As the members suffered persecution and other difficulties, James buttressed the company of believers with words of faith, hope, and perseverance. He reminded them that although they had many trials and struggles, if they were faithful, they would have a joyful, peaceful home with the Lord forever.
No wonder the church was so devastated when Herod Agrippa had James killed by the sword. The first of the apostles to die for his faith, this previous “Son of Thunder” left a legacy of goodness and peace.
The Bible says, “An angry man stirs up strife, and a furious man abounds in transgression” (Proverbs 29:22). Do you have uncontrolled an- ger in your life? If so, why not release it to the Prince of Peace right now?
Dear Jesus, please fill me with Your perfect, subduing peace that is beyond all understanding.
For Further Study: Luke 9:51–56; Prov. 22:24, 25; Philippians 4:6, 7