James and John…the infamous Sons Of Thunder as Jesus called them.
They were strong fisherman that seemed to be your classic type A personality, always pushing for results, aiming for the best spot at the table and not afraid to call down a little fire on anyone who didn't seem to meet their expectations.
They were hungry for adventure and risk and obviously had dreams of living out an Elijah like ministry of power, confrontation and victory over those who resisted God. They were so intense and pushy that even the other disciples began to feel indignant with them (Mark 10:41) after hearing them boldly ask for seats next to Christ in His glory.
They were brash and not afraid to ask for what they wanted and when challenged by Jesus with the cup of suffering they both declared they were willing to drink it and I believe they were serious.
Because real men want a challenge, they hunger for something that tests their merit. They like a fight, especially one that has rewards attached to it. Men like to win something. They long to rise, to ascend, to mount up, to rule and exercise dominion.
And live it they did…James was the first disciple to seal his testimony with his own blood, slain by the sword of Herod (Acts 12:1-2). And John lived a life of trials, imprisonment and suffering for the gospel, even though he lived to a ripe old age and died in his bed.
But in all their manliness they both needed a fresh revelation of what true manhood was and how to live a life that spreads life and not death. Jesus didn't castrate them and then bid them fruitful as C.S. Lewis put it, He harnessed their stallion like passion and redirected it into a life of service and sacrifice.
He taught them that the greatest among men is one who serves the lives of others, who puts the needs of the least fortunate at the forefront of his agenda. He taught them to go for the first place but God's way…the way of sacrifice. He didn't soak their drive with religious wet blankets but spurned them to dream bigger dreams and push for justice and mercy and take dominion over the chaos around them and strive to bring light in darkness. He didn't hamstring their ambition, He sanctified it and formed it into a sharp arrow for God's purposes.
We need men who thunder.
Not fleshy displays of bravado but strong, clear voices of truth that utter prophesies like thunder witnesses that lightning has struck. Real men echo the movement of God's actions on the earth. They can prophesy what God is doing, they can see and they can speak with authority because the Father is speaking to them.
They can drink the cup, because they have heard the call.
Jesus doesn't want to hamstring you but harness you like the fiery horses that pulled Elijah's chariot, you too will be one who pulls the purposes of GOD in this last hour with pounding hooves of power and bridled hearts of smoldering passion.