The Disciples: Andrew

(Written by Ange van der Leeuw)


Andrew was Peter’s brother and a son of Jonas who were natives of Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee. As fishermen, they worked in partnership with the brothers James and John (Lk 5:10). Andrew had been a disciple of John the Baptist before he met Jesus. When John the Baptist identified Jesus as the Lamb of God  (Jn 1:36), Andrew immediately decided to follow him and the first thing he did was to go to Peter and tell him straightforwardly, 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’ – Jn 1:40,41.

Initially, Andrew continued to make his living fishing. He did not follow Jesus full-time until later on, when Jesus called him, along with Peter, James and John, one day when they were busy fishing. Matthew describes the calling of Andrew: Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men’. Then they immediately left their nets and followed him. – Mt 4:18-20.

In the miraculous “feeding of the five thousand,” Andrew was the apostle who brought the small boy with the loaves & fishes to Jesus. Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” – John 6:8,9. Later, he brought the request for an interview from some Greeks who wished to see Jesus, but Jesus would not see them because he knew the time of his crucifixion was close. (John 12:20-22) Finally, Andrew is seen praying with the Twelve in Jerusalem after the Ascension. (Acts 1:13) The New Testament tells us no more about him.

He is the first to have the title of Home and Foreign Missionary. Many scholars say that he preached in Scythia, Greece and Asia Minor.

According to tradition, in Achaia (in southern Greece) in the town of Patra, when the Governor named Aepeas’ wife was healed and converted to the Christian faith, and shortly after that the Governor’s brother became a Christian, Aepeas was enraged. He arrested Andrew and condemned him to die on the cross. Andrew, feeling unworthy to be crucified on the same-shaped cross as his Master, begged that he be different. So, he was crucified on an X-shaped cross, which, today, is still known as Saint Andrew’s cross.

Andrew introduced others to Jesus. Although circumstances placed him in a position where it would have been easy for him to become jealous and resentful, he was optimistic and well content in second place. His actions revealed that his calling and ministry in life was to bring others to Jesus. What a beautiful gift.

How do you introduce others to Jesus? Do you happily take second place at times to let others shine? Andrew brought the little boy and his lunch to Jesus, did he believe Jesus could perform this miracle or what it just problematic?

Andrew brought his brother Peter to Jesus. The fish on the emblem reveals that he transformed his occupation as fisherman to the larger calling as fisher of humanity. The cross saltire, now familiarly known as St. Andrew’s Cross, is traditionally the form of the cross upon which he was crucified after preaching the gospel in Greece.

PRAYER: Lord God, May I, like Andrew, use every opportunity I can to introduce others to you. I pray I will never let my own ambitions get in the way of others coming to know you. Thank you for Andrew’s gentle spirit, may that fruit of gentleness grow more and more in my own life. Lead me today to someone you want me to introduce to Jesus. In Jesus Name,  AMEN

SONG: I Make My Life a Prayer to You by Keith Green –