Andrew: The Apostle of Small Things

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I have certainly been enjoying my study for these messages. It is certainly enjoyable to get to know those men who walked closely with Jesus while He was on the earth.
Andrew was Peter’s brother, he is the disciple we know the least about. Which is ironic where he was Peter’s brother and Peter being so in the forefront and Andrew being not well known. Andrew was not included in several important events where we see Peter, James and John together with Jesus. At other times he was featured as a part of the inner circle.
But one thing is certain Andrew did have a close relationship with Christ. He was often the one who introduced others to Jesus personally. Andrew was of the first disciples to be called.
John 1:35–40 NLT
The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus. Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them. They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day. Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus.
Andrew was the one who was responsible for introducing his brother Peter to Jesus. His eagerness to follow Jesus and his zeal for introducing other to Christ outlines Andrew’s character.
Peter and Andrew were from the village of Bethsaida.
John 1:44 NLT
Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.
This town was in the Northern Galilee region. At some point the brothers relocated to the larger city of Capernaum, which was close to their hometown. The brothers shared a house and operated a fishing business together, in the north shore of the Sea of Galilee where the fishing was good and located in the junction of key trading routes (which was good for business as well).
These brothers were most likely lifelong companions of James and John, sons of Zebedee. The four shared common spiritual interested even before they met Jesus. They took sabbaticals from fishing, visited the wilderness where John the Baptist was preaching and became disciples of John. That is where they first encountered Jesus. When they went back to fishing they remained partners .
These four seemed inseparable and the closeness of the little group was quite natural. All four of them wanted to be leaders and they formed a collective leadership over the other disciples. We know Peter was pretty dominant in this group from last weeks message. Peter often spoke for the 12 whether they liked it or not.
They all wanted to be leaders. They did have their shameful arguments as to who was the greatest. Their eagerness to lead did cause clashes when they were together as a group, but there were instrumental in developing the early church. But of the four Andrew was the least conspicous.
Scripture does not tell us a lot about Andrew. Andrew’s name only appers in the New Testament only 9 times and most of those times are only referring to him in passing. Andrew lived his life in the shadows, often in the shadow of his brother Peter. Many time when Andrew is reference it is as Peter’s brother. But there was no evidence that this was an issue for Andrew.
Afterall, Andrew was the one who brought Peter to Jesus and made the introduction in the first place and that decision was immediate and without hesitation. I am sure Andrew was aware of Peter’s dominance before that introduction, yet he brought Peter into the group anyway. This says a lot about Andrew’s character.
Throughout the scriptures Andrew is portrayed as a man who has the right heart for ministry, and he leads effectively in the background. He didn’t seek to be the center of attention and he didn’t resent those who were in the limelight. He was happy to do what he could with the gifts and calling God had given him and allowed others to do likewise.
Andrew seems to be the least contentious and the most thoughtful. Whenever Andrew speaks, which is rare, he always says the right thing, does the right thing and never attaches dishonor. Yes sure when there were mistakes made in the group corporately Andrew was included but whenever Andrew’s name is mentioned expressly he rises above the others and acts or speaks in a manner that scriptures commend him for. He was an effective leader even though he never took the spotlight.
Andrew and Peter were brothers but had two different leadership styles. But just as Peter was needed and called so was Andrew. Andrew may have been seen as the better model for most church leaders than Peter was.
The name Andrew means “manly” which seems to be a good description for his personality. Andrew was bold, decisive, and deliberate. He wasn’t feeble or wimpish. He was driven by a deep passion for truth, willing to subect himself to extreme kinds of hardship and pursued the truth plain and simple.
He had joined the ranks of John the Baptist. John the baptist was not known to live a cushy life. He was known for his rugged appearance and harsh lifestlye. He wore camel hair and had a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and honey. He didn’t live in luxury or even menial comforts and the expectation of his disciples to live in the manner was so. Therefore Andrew can be seen in this light.
There is much more that can be said about Andrew but this evening we need to focus on some important things to take away from his example. Again this week we will be all over scriptures so bear with me as we move about. But in the slides you can follow along more clearly.
John 1:40–42 NLT
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”). Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”).
Prayer over the word of God.

He saw the value of the individual person

This is what I love so much about Andrew’s life and what I love about Jesus. He picked a person to be a part of the team that saw the importance of the one-to-one relationship, the individual person.
I am a relational person. I love nothing more than to sit and chat and get to know people.
When it came to dealing with people Andrew fully appreciated the value of the single soul. He was known for personal evanglism, instead of speaking to the crowds he witnessed relationally. He was known for bringing individuals not crowds. In almost every Gospel account of Andrew he is bringing someone to Jesus.
Oh to be that effective, oh to be that bold in my walk. It is easy in some ways to address the crowd because most often they don’t debate, they don’t talk back. But individually you are often hard pressed, challenged, and sometimes at a loss for what to say. The fact that Andrew could work effectively in this manner teach us that there is a job for everyone, there is a purpose for all personalities and we are to look to find where we fit best.
Andrew’s first act was after he discovered Jesus he went and got his brother so that he could get in on it too. This act set the tone for Andrew’s minsitry.
Andrew was present at the feeding of the 5,000. It was Andrew who brought the boy with the loaves and fishes to Christ. All the other disciples didn’t know what to do to feed the crowd. It was Andrew who helped find a solution. He took the young boy (another introduction to Jesus) and said:
John 6:9 NIV
“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
Andrew knew if this little guy met Jesus and offered this small but significant offering Jesus could do something with it. He may not have imagined Jesus would do such a massive miracle but the fact is Andrew had faith that His Master could do something with the little things.
It was already evident in how Jesus was using Andrew’s life and now once again Jesus was faithful to prove this to be true.
Then in
John 12:20–22 NLT
Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They said, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.” Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus.
These men came to Philip wanting to see Jesus but Philip went to Andrew. Then Andrew and Philip went to Jesus. I believe this is another significant example that Andrew was the one who introduced people to Jesus.
Philip took the men to Andrew and Andrew introduced them to Jesus. Why didn’t Philip take the men to Jesus himself?
Perhaps it was due to a lot of things but I believe Philip knew Andrew was effective and Andrew could introduce them to Christ, and perhaps do it best.
Andrew was not confused when someone wanted to see Jesus. He simply brought them to Him. He saw the need and knew where to obtain the answer.
Andrew brought Peter to Christ - first home missionary
Andrew brought the Greeks to Christ - first foreign missionary
One thing that this points out - The most effective and important aspect of evangelism usually takes place on an individual, personal level.
Most people do not come to Christ as an immediate response to a sermon in a crowded setting they often come because of the influence of an individual. That is why discipleship is so important.
You come and learn, then go and tell. Then you bring others to Him.
Yes both ways work but the most effective means for bringing people to Christ is one at a time, on an individual basis.
Both Andrew and Peter had evangelistic hearts but their methods were very different. Peter preached at Pentecost - 3,000 people were added to the church. Nothing in scripture states that Andew preached to crowds or stirred masses of people. But he brought Peter to Christ which would mean Peter would not have added the 3,000 without that introduction to Christ by Andrew.
The fruit of Peter’s ministry is also the fruit of Andrew’s faithful, individual witness. Never think your contribution to the kingdom is insufficient. It matters!

He saw the value of insignificant gifts

Andrew saw the value of small things.
Again we look at when Jesus fed the 5,000.
Jesus went to be alone with the discipes, needing to take a break from public ministry. But the multitudes tracked him down. It was just before Passover which was one year before Christ’s cricifixion. A huge throng of people approached. They discovered where Jesus was.
It was nearly time to eat and bread was to be the object lesson. Jesus made it clear that he wanted to feed the people. Jesus asked Philip where might they buy bread. Philip quickly did the accounting and determined that they had only two hundred denarii in their treasury. A denarius was a days pay for a labor, so 200 denarii would be approximately 8 months wages. It was a lot money. Philip was at a loss at the greatest of the need and he and the disciples were not sure of what to do.
Matthew’s account states the same.
Matthew 14:15 NLT
That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.”
But that is not what Jesus wanted them to do. He wanted to feed them. The disciples were thinking his demand was unreasonable. At that point Andrew spoke up.
John 6:9 NLT
“There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”
Andrew knew this was not enought to feed the crowd but in his typical fashion he brought the boy to Jesus anyway. This shows that Andrew had faith that Jesus could do something even thought he didn’t see how it would work. He believed.
Andrew knew that Jesus would not issue a command without making it possible for them to obey. So Andrew did the best he could. He identified the one food source available and he made sure Jesus knew about it.
Something in him seemed to understand that no gift is too insignificant on the hands of Jesus.
I think we need to remember this as well. Little is much when God is in it.
The mustard seed
The widows might
Loaves and fish that feed multitides
John 6:10–13 NLT
“Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.
John 6:10-
What a lesson! That so little could be used to accomplish so much was a testimony to the power of Christ.
No gift is too small in His hands.
Luke 21:1–4 NLT
While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”
The poor person who gives everything he or shw is giving a greater gift than the rich who gave much more out of their abundance.
God’s ability to use a gift is on no way hindered or enhanced by the size of the gift.
And it is sacrificial faithfulness of the giver, not the size of the gift that is the true meansure of the gift’s significance.
Jesus didn’t need to have the boys lunch to serve the crowd. He would have created food out of nothing just as easily. But the way he fed the 5,000 ilustrates the way God always works. He also wants us to be part of it.
He takes the sacrificial and often insignificant gifts of people who give faithfully and multiplies them to accomplish monumental things.

He saw the value of the Inconspicuous Service

Some people won’t play in the band unless they can hit the big drum. James and John often had that tendancy and so did Peter but not Andrew.
Andrew was more concerned about bringin people to Jesus than about who got the credit or who was in charge. He had little craving for honor. We don’t hear him say anything unless it is related to bringing someone to Jesus.
Ephesians 6:6 NKJV
not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,
This is the picture of Andrew - someone who labored quietly in humble places. He was not an impressive pillar like Peter, James, and John. He was a humble stone. He was one of the rare people who was willing to take second place and be in the place of support. He didn’t mind being hidden as long as the work was getting done.
This is an important lesson for us all, too often we look for the limelight, places of prominence. Scripture warns about this:
James 3:1 NKJV
My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
James 3:11 KJV 1900
Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
Mark 9:35 NKJV
And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”
It takes a special kind of person to be a leader with a servants heart, Andrew is like that.
Andrew never wrote an epistle, never founded a church, never preached to multitiudes, he isn’t mentioned in the book of Acts or any of the epistles. Andrew is more is a silhoutte than a portrait. - John MacArthur
We don’t really even know what happened to Andew after Pentecost. Whatever he did was behind the scenes. It is thought that he took the gospel north as far as Scythia (that is why Andrew is the patron saint of Russia and he is also the patron saint of Scotland). He was crucified in Achaia, which is Southern Greece, near Athens.
There is an account that says that he led the wife of a provincial Roman governor to Christ and that made her husband mad. He demanded his wife recant her devotion and she would not. So the governor had Andrew crucified.
Andrew was lashed to the cross instead of being nailed in order to prolong his suffering at the order of the governor. It is thought that it was an X-shaped cross. It is said that he hung on that cross two days, exhorting those who passed by to turn to Christ for salvation.
Andrew’s life to some may have seemed too meager and maybe dull. He was priviledged. He was the first to hear that Jesus was the lamb of God. He was the first to follow Christ. He was part of the inner circle, given intimate access to Jesus himself. His name will be inscribed, along with the names of the other apostles on the foundations of the eternal city - the New Jerusalem. Most importantly, he had a whole lifetem of privilege, doing what he loved best - introductions to a life changing Savior.
I thank God for the example of Andrew and people like him. Quiet, hard working, labourous persons but giving under the radar, sacrificial gifts and accomplish lots for the Lord.
They might not be in the limelight or receive tons of recognition but they don’t need it and are happy to serve in this way. They only want to hear Him say “Well Done!”
This evening are you willing to surrender your talents and gifts at His feet?
Do you seek to show others to the life-changing Christ that has taken you to places you never thought possible?
Tonight, you need to realize that you don’t need to be a loud speaker, bold person, He wants to use you if you will humble yourself before Him.
There is no such thing as insignificant person, gift or service.
Surrender before Him, serve Him faithfully. It is worth it.
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