Andrew – The First Disciple
- Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. John 1: 40-42
- Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? Mark 8:17-18
- Then their eyes were opened and they recognized [Jesus]. Luke 24:31
Andrew was the younger brother of Peter, an out spoken, boisterous and dominant older brother. They grew up in Bethsaida, a small but important town on the northeast corner of the sea of Galilee. The family business was fishing, which they learned from a young age. Andrew was probably around 17 or 18 when he traveled with a friend, most likely John, on a journey to see a prophet in the desert.
They traveled to a place called Bethany which was beyond the Jordan, some 20 miles away from Jerusalem and 45 miles away from their home in Bethsaida. This wasn’t a casual day trip. It took planning and risk to travel that distance, but they had a heart to learn and pursue God.
After finding John the Baptist, and likely being baptized by John, Andrew over heard John’s declaration about Jesus as he walked by the crowd. Andrew got up and followed Jesus, requesting to spend the night with him. This initial meeting with Jesus must have been a significant event, for soon after this meeting, Andrew raced home to Galilee to tell his older brother, Peter that they had found the Messiah. Andrew convinced Peter to go with him to find Jesus and determine for himself whether he truly was the Messiah.
This “bring others to Jesus”desire characterized Andrew’s life. Andrew was also the disciple that brought the young boy to Jesus with the 5 loves and 2 fish. This simple, yet faith filled act, was the impetus Jesus used to feed more than 5000 hungry people. Andrew was also the one that crossed racial lines and brought foreign speaking Greeks to Jesus in John 12. He seemed to have the quality of faith that would overcome obstacles and connect the dots. He would see the possibilities where others seemed to see either only the ordinary, or even the obstacles. Andrew didn’t have the limiting filters that so often color our assumptions and perceptions. He was open to grander possibilities. Being young or from a different culture didn’t stop him. I really like that about Andrew. He saw the possibilities whether they were 5 loves and 2 fish, or making a way for people to know Jesus who were from a different tribe or nation.
Church tradition claims that Andrew was crucified for preaching Jesus in the Greek city of Patras around 60 AD. His encounter with Jesus transformed this son of a fisherman and he became a world traveler and evangelist for his Lord. Like his brother Peter, he didn’t consider himself worthy of dying the same manner as Jesus. Instead, he was bound to an X shaped cross rather than a traditional cross. This X shaped cross became a symbol known as Saint Andrew’s Cross, the patron saint of Scotland. According to church tradition, Andrew continued to preach about Jesus for 3 days while he hung on the cross until he died.
Andrew’s passion for God lead him to become one of the first to follow Jesus. He died proclaiming this same Jesus as Christ and Lord. He saw extraordinary miracles all because he saw the possibilities when others only saw obstacles. Andrew is an example for all of us as we follow Christ.
Lord help us see possibilities rather than obstacles today. Help us extend ourselves to those who are different from us, like Andrew did with the Greeks that wanted to know you. May we be those who see that a boy’s lunch might become the source for a miracle that feeds the masses. Open our heart Lord to more of you and your glory!
Thank you to those of you that gave and prayed for the church in Nepal. We were able to raise $3500 for church in Katmandu Nepal. These brave believers are facing difficult days, but your gifts will help many have hope for their families and their future.