Dude.  Fat Belly.  Lefty.

It seems like guys have been using nicknames for each other forever.  It might describe a physical characteristic, a personality trait, or an event the person was involved in.  One of my nicknames is Pope, because of my Christianity.  Details like Protestant or Catholic, tradition or relationship – minor things.

Jesus gave out nicknames to his best buds.  The fisherman named Simon got called The Rock.  (I can almost hear “Hey, Rocky, back off a bit!”).  James and John shared a father, but still got the nickname Sons of Thunder for themselves.  In Mark 3:16-17, Jesus doesn’t name the dad Zebedee as “Thunder”, because he’s not close to Jesus.  The boys get the name.

So these best friends hung around together, doing all sorts of stuff together.  They were tighter with Jesus than the other disciples were.  These three were with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9), and were hand-picked to accompany Jesus for the raising of Jairus’s daughter from the dead (Mark 5:37-42).  And Jesus chose these three nickname-buddies to accompany him to the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:33-42).

But there they let Him down.  While Jesus was in anguish over the cross, His friends were snoozing.  And then it happened again, and again.

Who was faithful to Jesus?  Who was there to hear every cry, exult in every joy, support Him in tough situations, and tell Him the truth, even when it hurt?  Not His friends.  It was His Father.

Fathers are like that.