James along with his Brother John are identified by St. Mark as the sons of Zebedee, but with the added surname "Boanerges" that is, "sons of thunder. Mark 3:1
What does this mean? Is this a great honor being placed on Father Zebedee?
Jesus knew the Apostles very core and he gave James and John the nickname of "thunder" because of their disposition.
Consider Luke 9:54, "When the days drew near for him to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him; but the people would not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them?" Luke 9:51-54
In this case, Jesus did not compliment their thought, but maintained His purpose of going to other villages on their way to Jerusalem.
A lot of the time when the New Testament reports on an event, we are getting perhaps the jest of what was taking place, but I have to imagine that in the three years the Apostles were with Jesus, there was a whole lot more. That is why the Catholic Faith makes the most sense in understanding the culture, the environment, and the people that Jesus encountered to get a more clear picture.