Summary: A person’s character is very difficult to change. But it can be done, though it takes time. Today let us study the character of John and James, and see what we can learn from them.


VERSES: Mark 3:13-19; Luke 9:28-36, 46-56

Acts 12:1-2; 1 John 4:7-12

A person’s character is very difficult to change. But it can be done, though it takes time.

Today let us study the character of John and James, and see what we can learn from them.


From among many of the disciples following Jesus, Jesus chose12 men to be His apostle.

To which three apostles did Jesus add new names? (vv16-17)

What does “ Sons of Thunder” suggest to you about the personalities of James and John? ( that they blow like thunders once in a while. Sons of thunder may mean little thunder, and that may mean the father of James and John is like thunder, and that they inherited some of that character trait. Like father like sons)


Who did Jesus take with Him up the mountain? ( v.28)

What does this show? ( Peter, James and John are part of the inner group whom Jesus gave special attention and training.)

What happened at the mountain top? (vv. 29-36)

What did it mean for Peter, James and John?

Many of us have our own mountain top experience wherein we felt close to God and we came into a deeper knowledge of our Lord, as if we have seen Him with our own eyes. Share them.

After this incident we would expect James and John to be spiritual now. Let us see what happened.

THUNDER AGAIN ( Luke 9:46-56)

This incident happened after the mountain top experience

vv 46-50

How did the argument of the disciples among themselves reflect their desires and priorities?

How did our Lord correct them? Vv 47,48

How would you describe John’s attitude in v. 49?

(Partisanship or Selfishness. He wanted people to belong to His group only)

vv. 51-56

What happened when Jesus sent messengers to a Samaritan village? (v. 53)

When James and John saw this, what did they propose? (v.54)

What does this show of their character?

James and John had followed Jesus for three years now. They had been part of the inner group who received special attention, and had been through a mountain top experience. Jesus was about to finish His mission on earth (v.51). But James and John remained as selfish (vv. 46-50). Is it impossible for one’s character to change? ( Praise God it is possible)

Let us see what happened to James and John afterwards?

James the martyr ( Acts 12:1-2)

This happened after Pentecost. The apostle were filled with the Holy Spirit and witnessed for our Lord boldly.

What happened to James? (v 2)

Why was He executed?

If James had his old character of selfishness, would he have allowed himself to be arrested and executed?

What does this show then?

( His character was finally changed from selfishness to loving Jesus Christ more than his own life.)

Love ( I John 4:7-12)

Who wrote this passage (John)

Contrast the love that John is now speaking of with what he was before. In what ways was he not loving before? Now, how loving is he?


What lessons can we learn from today’s studies?

It was after Pentecost that James and John were finally changed. Only when the Holy Spirit works in our heart can be truly changed. Many of us continue to view godliness/ Christ likeness as a self project I must…. I must not. But changing our character is the fruit of a life

Maturing in Christ. So we should seek to love, obey, etc. and then change will be the result of maturing in our faith.

Let us be patients, for we know that it takes quite sometime for a person’s character to change. Let us be aware of the difficult struggles within that person, and pray for him.

REFLECTION: What have been the changes in my character since I became a Christian? What more needs to be changed?

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