By Kelly Wise Valdes

In a recent gathering of the Apostles, James of Galilee was honored by Jesus, earning the title of “Son of Thunder.”

James is the son of Zebedee and older brother of the Disciple John. He was originally referred to as James The Greater, to distinguish him from the other disciple named James. James The Greater was one of the three disciples closest to Jesus, which included his brother and Peter.

According to the Apostle Bartholomew, “James The Greater was part of Jesus’ inner circle and as a result, he witnessed many magnificent events, which the rest of us were not allowed to see.”

It was reported by eyewitnesses that James and John accompanied Jesus up a mountain. When on the mountain they saw a vision of Christ in Heaven. According to Matthew, “Jesus was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.”

Jesus nicknamed James, “Son of Thunder,” after Jesus preached at the village of Samaria. According to a villager in Samaria, “The villagers were not responsive to the message of Jesus, and then James called down fire from Heaven on them.” James had a large personality and was quick to defend Jesus against His enemies.

James, the Son of Thunder, was a colorful character, not willing to back away from a confrontation and could be insensitive. But Jesus transformed him. According to friends and family, James became a loyal servant of God and continues to transform his ministry throughout the community.

Jesus inspired 12 ordinary men to leave their old lives behind and become followers of Him. Among these new followers were fishermen, a tax collector and a revolutionary. The Gospels record the failings, struggles and doubts of these twelve men who followed Jesus. This series will document one of the disciples each month in a fun way in order to learn more about how God turned each man from ordinary to extraordinary.

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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.