Andrew the apostle is from the village of Bethsaida by the Sea of Galilee, where he meets Jesus for the first time. Andrew’s call to discipleship holds great significance even though it might seem less dramatic than most of the other apostles.
Luke’s gospel describes Jesus calling Andrew while he was out fishing, and the Gospel of John presents Andrew as first being a disciple of John the Baptist. He personally decided to become a follower of Jesus when he heard John the Baptist look at Jesus and say, “Look, the Lamb of God!” (John 1:35-40)
Andrew’s life of humility, obedience, and faithfulness to the call of Christ holds value to us today, as he is one of the most relatable characters for many of us, from the New Testament. His relatively obscure life and ministry have many important lessons for us today. Let us explore the lessons we can learn from this enigmatic disciple of Jesus.
Significance of Personal Evangelism:
Andrew was adept at personal evangelism, and we see this in how he introduced Simon Peter to Jesus. His style of evangelism stands in contrast to most other apostles. When he first encounters Jesus, his first response is to share it with his brother. This shows us the faith he places in the power of Jesus to transform lives, and the value he places on his personal relationships.
In another instance, when a group of Greeks came to Philip wanting to meet Jesus, Philip did not know what to do. As he was able to identify with Andrew and share his belief in the importance of individual outreach, Philip brings this dilemma to Andrew. Andrew, recognizing the opportunity to bring these foreigners to Christ, did not hesitate to introduce them to Jesus. He did this even though they were considered unclean by the religious standards (John 12:20-22).
We see Andrew’s firm commitment to sharing the love of Christ with individuals, regardless of their social status or background. He plays a significant role in bringing people to Jesus by being the ‘first home missionary’ when he brought Peter and the ‘first foreign missionary’ when he introduced the Greeks to Jesus.
Significance of Insignificant Gifts:
Andrew had faith in Jesus’ ability to bring significance out of something deficient, and this sets him apart from the other disciples. His willingness to bring the inconsequential to the Saviour shows that he understands the transformative power of Jesus.
In John 6, Jesus asks the disciples to feed the crowd. While all others were baffled, Andrew brings a seemingly insignificant offering to the table – five small barley loaves and two fish. This stands in contrast to Philip’s calculated and realistic response saying, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
It is also noteworthy that, upon hearing Andrew’s response, Jesus immediately asks the disciples to have the people sit down. Andrew’s faith and willingness to bring the small offering to Jesus demonstrates the importance of seeing value in all things, no matter how insignificant they may seem.
In doing so, we can witness the incredible miracles that can occur when we trust in the Lord and His ability to transform even the most trivial into something truly remarkable.
Significance of Inconspicuous Service:
Although he was the first disciple to follow Jesus, Andrew never sought the spotlight or put himself at the forefront of important events. He remained insignificant throughout the New Testament, perhaps reflecting the ethos of his mentor, John the Baptist – “I must decrease and He must increase”.
He believed in his calling and was faithful in doing what he was called to do for the sake of the gospel. He openly confessed Jesus as the Messiah (John 1:35-42) and
He never preached to a large crowd or chaired any major events, but he worked diligently behind the scenes, quietly supporting the mission of Jesus – an unsung hero in the grand scheme of God’s plan.
Though the New Testament mentions him a mere twelve times, Andrew is associated with some of the most well-known stories in the Bible. His life of faithful service shows that we do not need to be in a prominent position to make a significant impact on God’s Kingdom.
His humility, ability to identify potential in insignificant gifts, and focus on individual evangelism are traits that all Christians should strive to emulate. As modern-day Christians, we can learn from Andrew’s example and serve humbly, recognizing the value of seemingly small acts of service for the sake of the gospel.
This is part 3 of the series “Following His Footsteps”. Read aslo,
For more Lenten Special articles