What Did Jesus Give the Name His Disciples James and John?

When we think of the disciples of Jesus, we often remember the famous twelve who followed Him closely during His time on earth. Among them were James and John, two brothers who were also known as the “Sons of Thunder.”

But have you ever wondered what name Jesus gave to these two disciples? Let’s explore this question in more detail.

The Sons of Thunder

Before we delve into the name that Jesus gave to James and John, let’s first understand why they were called the “Sons of Thunder.” This name is mentioned only twice in the Bible, both times in the Gospel of Mark (3:17; 10:35).

It is believed that they received this nickname because they were known for their impulsive and fiery personalities. In Luke 9:54-55, we see an example of this when James and John asked Jesus if they could call down fire from heaven to destroy a village that had rejected Him.

The Name Given by Jesus

So what did Jesus call James and John? In Mark 3:16-17, we read that He gave them the name “Boanerges,” which means “Sons of Thunder” in Aramaic. This name was likely given to them because it reflected their bold and passionate nature.

Implications of the Name

The fact that Jesus chose to give James and John this particular name shows us something about His relationship with them. He recognized their strengths and weaknesses and loved them for who they were. The name “Boanerges” not only acknowledged their fiery personalities but also served as a reminder that they had been transformed by Christ’s love.

Moreover, this name had significant implications for James and John’s future ministry. As apostles, they were called to spread the Good News boldly and fearlessly, just like thunder rolling across the sky.


In conclusion, Jesus gave James and John the name “Boanerges,” which means “Sons of Thunder” in Aramaic. This name reflected their passionate and impulsive nature and had significant implications for their future ministry. As we reflect on this, let us also remember that Jesus loves us for who we are and calls us to use our unique gifts and personalities to serve Him boldly.