One of the striking things about Jesus’s ministry is that He chose a group of men to train and teach, with the end goal that they would go preach His message. They were an interesting mix with widely different backgrounds, temperaments, and even politics. But we can learn some important things about how to follow Jesus from each of them. Last week we learned from Peter. This week we’ll look at his younger brother Andrew.
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard John and followed him. He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated “the Christ”), John 1:40-41 (CSB).
Andrew had a heart for God.
Andrew doesn’t appear often in Scripture. He is perhaps best known for bringing his brother Simon Peter to Jesus. Andrew was a fisherman like Peter, but he was clearly devout and seeking the things of God. When John the Baptist began his ministry, Andrew was one of his followers. Because of that, he was among the first of the Twelve to hear the pronouncement that Jesus was the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:35-36). After meeting and spending some time with Jesus, Andrew was convinced Jesus was the Christ and immediately brought the news to his brother.
If we are going to follow like Andrew, we need to be devout and seeking after the things of God. We also need to have a heart for our families. Do they know what we know about Jesus? If not, we need to tell them we have found the Messiah.
Andrew had a heart for others.
In John 6:8-9, when faced with a huge crowd of people and no food, Andrew found a boy with a lunch and brought him to Jesus. Granted he didn’t see how the lunch could be used and maybe even had his doubts. However, in a time when children were often overlooked, Andrew was at least willing to advocate for the boy’s contribution.
This is in line with an encounter in John 12:20-22. Some Greek converts to Judaism had come to Jerusalem for the Passover and they wished to see Jesus. They asked Philip to introduce them and he instead took them to Andrew. Andrew took them to see Jesus.
The Greeks were converts to Judaism. They weren’t Jews, and so they would have been limited in their access to the Temple and participation in some of the customs. Andrew understood that Jesus would take away the sins of the world — Gentiles included. He wanted everyone to see Jesus, to be a part of the kingdom work regardless of who they were or how society viewed them.
If we are going to follow like Andrew, we must have a heart for those society may overlook or brush off. We must seek to include them in the work we do and make sure everyone gets the chance to meet Jesus.
Andrew had a heart for God’s work.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about Andrew is what is not said. He never showed any bitterness when Peter overshadowed him and took a leading role among the Twelve. He didn’t feel slighted even though he was the one who brought Peter to Jesus. He wasn’t jealous of John who also followed John the Baptist and was part of Jesus’s inner circle. John MacArthur in Twelve Ordinary Men said Andrew exemplified Ephesians 6:6 Don’t work only while being watched, as people-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, do God’s will from your heart.
It is believed he carried the gospel into Russia and other areas around the Black Sea. Tradition says that he was arrested and crucified after leading the wife of a Roman governor to faith in Christ.
If we want to follow like Andrew, we need to do so with the big picture clearly in mind, that is, the glory of God and growth of the kingdom and not worry who among us gets the credit. The truth is, few of us will have the notoriety that Peter had. Far more of us will be called to faithfully serve in obscurity. Like Andrew.
Next week – James