(he appointed the twelve:) Simon, whom he named Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Mark 3:16-17
His name is Alan Bondoc yet we named him Bijong. Alan looked like my cousin from whom we derived the name. Joram Vitug is his legal name and we re-named him Dodong. There was a little boy, who looks like Joram, with that name in our outreach service for children. We call Edwin Eco as Balugbug (Ear), for his ears tell the story. Jocas is for Jose Castro, a dear brother in Christ. Elmer Lacsamana prefers to be called Mheayaye. Allan Angeles is Apa, being a look-alike of a popular journalist. These are some of the brothers and fellow followers of Jesus with whom I have served. Their nicknames bring distinction among us. They serve God with the same passion and same zeal. Each one has a role to occupy. Bijong after his volunteer work with us became a missionary priest in East Timor, Indonesia. Dodong became a faithful husband and loving father but before that he has served the group in every capacity. Balugbug is an excellent music leader whose gift is still unparalleled as of this writing. Jocas is best remembered for serving with us with his availability in providing his administrative and management skills. Mheayaye and Apa are well-known for their leadership skills. Mheayaye continues to work in building a covenant community among our brothers and sisters. Each has made an impact. Distinct from one another yet united in serving God and His people.
Jesus named Simon as Peter. He gave James and John the name Boanerges. Thomas was also called Didymus since he has a twin. Maybe, all these disciples have another name to make them distinct. Whatever they were named or called, these men followed Jesus. These men loved Jesus. They followed Him. They walked and ate with Him. They slept where Jesus slept. They went with Jesus for mission. They left their work and families for Christ. Each has made an impact, and their lives are our models to follow. Given their names, they were distinct from one another yet united in serving God and His people.
Today and two thousand years ago, we are differently called but respond to one similar calling – to be a disciple. That is the distinction.