The other day when I was driving to the post office, there was a young guy on a motorcycle in front of me with a Hell’s Angel jacket on. Right away, my mind thought of John, the beloved disciple. You are probably thinking – Huh!? As you recall, John and his brother James were referred to as Sons of Thunder. I love this because it reminds me that Jesus didn’t choose people to follow him who were completely refined, but he chose people who were willing.
I think Sons of Thunder means they were full of passion. John, however, didn’t always have control over his passion. For instance, when the time was approaching for Jesus to ascend to heaven, the disciples went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for Jesus, but the people did not welcome him, and at this point, John and his brother James each blew a gasket and wanted to call fire down from heaven to destroy them. Jesus rebuked James and John and then they went on to another village.
The disciples learned a great deal as they walked with Jesus. John saw that Jesus was for all peoples and that he must let go of any prejudices. The funny thing about John wanting to call down fire on the Samaritans is that later he was sent there to serve them. When Jesus chose these twelve ordinary men to come follow him, we can see that little can become much in in the hands of Jesus.
Eventually in his latter years, John was exiled to the island of Patmos as a prisoner of Rome. I bet as he was working on the rock pile, swinging a hammer with the other prisoners, he reminisced and spoke passionately about Jesus, his friend and Savior.