Summary: James had character flaws like being brash, bragging who'd be the greatest, wanting to call down fire on people and asking to sit on a throne next to Jesus. But he became an Apostle of love and became the first apostle to be martyred.
THE 12 APOSTLES:
JAMES SON OF ZEBEDEE
A. HELL’S ANGELS
1. I was running a service station outside of Springfield Missouri one time. I had 16 pumps. It was a large station and along a major highway.
2. There were two men on the pay phones. I was outside taking money from a lady who was wearing shorts.
3. Suddenly a stream of Harley-Davidson motorcycles started pouring off the highway and around the corner and began pulling into the station.
4. They were all big men, wearing black jackets, with long hair and tough looking. They had chains around their waists. It was the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang from California!
5. The first biker was the leader -- a huge man with a head of hair like a lion and a massive beard that was divided up into several forks. As he pulled into the station, he revved his motor and roared like a lion.
6. The young woman screamed, threw her money into the air and jumped in her car and took off. I went inside the station.
7. They pulled up 10 bikes to each pump and filled them up. After they had finished, they all filed in and politely paid for their gas. I was surprised how nice they were.
8. The two men on the phone were goggle-eyed, describing the scene on the phones to whoever they were talking to. This has connection to today’s scripture.
1. Mark 3:13-17; “13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. 16 These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), 17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”).”
2. Jesus had some disciples who, if they were alive today, they would’ve probably been in a motorcycle gang.
3. The Lord Himself named James and John the "Sons of Thunder!" Wouldn't it have made a great name for a motorcycle gang? He described their characters as ‘Sons’ (offspring) of Thunder – ‘lightning’ is the product of thunderclaps.
4. They were swift, bright, and loud. James and John were brash, bold, and judgmental.
5. We're going to look at the true spirit of Christianity and see a transformation all of us need to make. The title of this message is “The 12 Apostles: James Son of Zebedee.”
I. WHO IS THE APOSTLE JAMES?
A. GENERAL INFORMATION
James son of Zebedee and Salome, brother of John the Apostle; was a fisherman who lived in Bethsaida, Capernaum and Jerusalem.
B. STRANGE FACTORS
2. Strangely, he is always listed in the apostolic lists ahead of his brother John.
3. Another strange thing, he’s never mentioned in the Gospel of John or his epistles! It must have been a painful memory for John which he avoided.
C. WHY LISTED BEFORE JOHN
There are 3 conjectures as to why James is always listed before John:
1. James may have been older than his brother John, or 2. He may have had the more bold, fiery temper than John, or
3. Be listed first because of his early martyrdom.
However, he was always listed first even early in his call, leading to the conclusion it was one of the 1st 2 factors.
II. WEALTHY FAMILY; CHRISTIAN MOTHER
His parents seem to have been people of wealth.
A. HIS FATHER, PART OF A FISHING PARTNERSHIP
Zebedee, his father, was a fisherman of the Sea of Galilee, who probably lived in or near Bethsaida, perhaps in Capernaum; and had some boatmen or hired men.
B. HIS MOTHER, SALOME, A CHRISTIAN
1. Salome, his mother, was one of the pious women who afterwards followed Christ and "ministered unto him of their substance".
2. Salome was at the crucifixion: “Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome” Mark 15:40, Mt. 27:56.
3. Salome at the Tomb on Easter morning: “When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body” Mark 16:1.
C. CONNECTIONS IN HIGH PLACES
And his brother John was personally known to the high-priest Annas (John 18:15-16), and must have had wherewithal to provide for the Mother of Jesus.
III. JAMES AS AN APOSTLE
A. HIS CALL
1. Mark’s abbreviated account of the call of the first disciples (1:16-20) seems to place the calling of James and John on the same day as Peter & Andrew. However, scholars see John 1:35-51 as the earliest description. Therefore, it was probably just after the Wedding of Cana that James & John were called.