James and his brother John were fishermen. Together with their father Zebedee, they were mending their nets when Jesus called them to be disciples. Jesus called James and John the “Sons of Thunder” (Mark 3:17; see Luke 9:54). James, along with Peter and John, were the disciples closest to Jesus. They were with the Lord during many of the key moments of his ministry. James was with Jesus at the Transfiguration, where Jesus revealed his divine glory. He was also with Jesus when he healed Jairus’s daughter (Mark 5:37). When Jesus prayed at Gethsemane, he asked James, John, and Peter to share with him the agonizing time of anticipation and sorrow as he faced the cross (Matt. 26:37). James was later executed by Herod, becoming the first apostle to die for his faith (Acts 12:1–3). (Matthew 4:21–22)