The surnamed disciples here were given special names to describe them by the Lord. Peter, James and John were the only three that received these special nicknames.
Mark 3:16-17 And Simon he surnamed Peter; And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:
The Surnamed Disciples
The surnamed disciples here were given special names to describe them by the Lord. Peter, James and John were the only three that received these special nicknames. There is usually a meaning in a nickname. It has to do with a character trait that is discovered after birth. It seems in the Old Testament names were often predictive of character traits.
Here the Lord referred to Simon as Peter or little rock. There must have been something about Peter’s character that the Lord wanted to refer to him as a rock. We often think of a rock as something that is long-lasting and immovable. The Lord likened him to the profession of Jesus being the Christ and the church. Christ is enduring as well as the church. Peter was going to be the kind of Christian who would go through a lot but always come back. He was like the Timex watch. He would take a licking but keep on ticking. Peter was always willing to try something for the Lord. He was the first and only disciple to walk on water. He was right there ready to defend the Lord even when the Lord did not need him to. Peter was always willing to try something even if it failed. We need Christians like Peter.
The Sons of Thunder
James and John were the Boanerges or sons of thunder. When I think of thunder, I think of loud and forth coming. John’s love for the Lord was known to all. He was not afraid to show his love for the Lord no matter who was watching. He was not afraid to ask who would betray the Lord. He was not proud or over-confident. James and John were right there with the Lord during the transfiguration. Their mom wanted the best for her boys. She wanted one to sit on the right hand and the other to sit on the left. She did not raise sissies for boys. They were aggressive in their love for the Lord. There is a lot in a name, especially a surname. What would the Lord surname you if he could. Maybe your surname is the name written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life. I hope it is something good.