Andrew, The power of an ordinary life.
This week we are starting a series on Getting to know the Twelve Apostles.
The Scriptures are John 1:35-42 (AMP)
Jesus’ Public Ministry, First Converts
35 Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as He walked along, and said, “Look! The Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they [a]followed Jesus. 38 And Jesus turned and saw them following Him, and asked them, “What do you want?” They answered Him, “Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went [with Him] and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the [b]tenth hour. 40 One of the two who heard what John said and [as a result] followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first looked for and found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the [c]Messiah” (which translated means the Christ). 42 Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas (which is translated [d]Peter).”
We don’t Know Andrew very well, His brother, Peter, gets most of the attention, but we ought to know him better.
We see a Peter only occasionally in a lifetime, but we see Andrews everyday.
Andrews are shop owners, mechanics, farmers, police officers, fire fighters, and people like us. Every church, school, and organisation has its leaders, but behind the scenes are those who do much of the work and never get any credit.
Andrew was an ordinary man.
We are told in John 1:44 that Andrew lived in Bethsaida of Galilee, where he made a living fishing.
He was mending nets when Jesus called in Mark 1:16-18.
Andrew had heard of the preaching of John the Baptist, so he and John went to see him.
As John pointed to Jesus, saying “behold the lamb of God” Andrew followed him.
It is a great hour of any persons life when they come to Christ, for salvation is life greatest discovery and in Jesus time it wasn’t any different.
In the early church Andrew was frequently called protokletos, which literally means “first called”.
Andrew was just an ordinary man, but think of what he did for his Lord.
* He brought a member of his own family to Christ
Andrew was first pictured in the New Testament in the words
41 He first looked for and found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the [a]Messiah” (which translated means the Christ). John 1:41 (AMP)
* He looked for Simon
I like to think that maybe Simon Peter was out on the lake somewhere in his boat.
Andrew having made the great discovery, could not wait to share the good news with his brother. Great emotion swept over his soul.
He could not keep it to himself.
Andrew cupped his hands to his mouth and called “Simon, we have found the messiah!”
Andrew brought Peter to Jesus.
What a brother Peter was. He became the most important to the Apostles, a towering personality and natural born leader.
But think of this, there would have been no bold Peter at Pentecost had there been no humble Andrew in Bethsaida.
* You know it is often harder and takes more courage to talk to your family about Christ than it does to a complete stranger in a foreign country.
Think about that accusing finger and cynical laugh!
“Your telling me about Jesus?” Peter might have said to Andrew.
“Remember that time you became angry and was swearing like a sailor? Remember that Saturday you drank too much and were smashed? Remember that person you have a grudge against? And your telling me about Christ?”
But Peter couldn’t say any of that because Andrew led an exemplary life.
You cannot be an influence for Christ if your life is not fit. Andrew probably never preached a sermon, but I believe we can say he lived a better sermon than most preachers will ever preach.
Andrew never wrote an epistle, but he was a living epistle, known and read of men.
Andrew never performed a miracle, but his life was a miracle of God.
We need more Andrews who live their faith each day and are concerned for members of their family.
* Andrew brought a boy to Christ
The second picture of Andrew we see, he is down by the shore.
Multitudes of people had been following Christ.
People simply forgot the time as they listened to Him speak and it was now late afternoon, and the people were still hanging on every word.
The babies and children had started to get restless because they were tired and hungry.
The nearest place to get food was about four hours away.
Jesus couldn’t let them go under the circumstances because the children would suffer, and others would faint by the wayside.
Jesus asked about food, and it was Andrew that answered,
9 “There is a little boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are these for so many people? John 6:9 (AMP)
Now the most important one in the crowd was the boy, he had the food, but it was Andrew that brought him.
Had there been no Andrew, there would have been no boy with lunch.
Do we recognise the importance of leading and developing people for Christ?
Especially the young?
People get all excited when an old man or woman come to Christ but often no one pays attention to the young child who does the same thing.
We have to set a good example if we expect people to trust us.
The boy had confidence in Andrew. Most people you can’t fool, they know wether your Christianity is real or not.
When people believe in a person, it is usually a pretty good test of that persons character.
What are we doing to lead people to Christ?
What are we going to teach them?
Where do you lead them on Sunday or in our case Saturday?
* Andrew was the ordinary man behind the scenes
Behind every good minister there is an unknown layman, or an unknown preacher or humble Sunday school teacher.
Who can estimate the power of ordinary people dedicated to God’s service?
* Andrew brought members of another race to Jesus
The bible tells us that some greeks came to the feast of the Passover.
Everywhere they heard the wonderful reports about Jesus of Nazareth and wanted to meet Him.
These worshippers sought help from Philip. “Sir” they said, “we would like to see Jesus” Philip introduced the ordinary guy, Andrew,, and together they brought the Greeks to Jesus.
Philip did not take them to Peter. He might have said “you idiot, you know that Jesus came just for the children of Israel.”
But he brought them to Andrew, and Andrew brought them to Jesus.
Jesus was stirred with joy as He saw the Greeks coming.
He saw a vision of the future when all races would come to Him.
He saw Peter at Pentecost, Paul at Antioch, and Philip witnessing to a man in Ethiopia.
He saw modern day preachers in Africa. Evangelists in China, and missionaries all over the world and said
32 And I, if and when I am lifted up from the earth [on the cross], will draw all people to Myself [Gentiles, as well as Jews].” John 12:32 (AMP)
* Each time we see Andrew in the New Testament, he is introducing someone to Jesus.
This is why we need more Andrews, we need more people that are going to lead people to Christ and then get them into a bible believing church.
* Andrew was an ordinary man with extraordinary qualities.
Andrew was great in humility.
He didn’t care who got the credit as long as the work was done.
Can you think if any sour saints who become cynical and grumpy because someone else got the credit?
They bitterly resent the fact that someone else got to lead? Playing second is often the most difficult position to play in life.
Andrew was massively over shadowed by his brother, but never did he show any hint of jealousy or antagonism.
This is a quality of a great person. Andrew was only concerned with service and was a selfless soul.
* Andrew was great with personal friendships.
He had a genius for reaching out to others. People are brought to Christ on the vehicle of friendship.
* Andrew was filled with missionary zeal.
He kept pointing people to Christ.
This kind of evangelism, friend to friend, person to person, is the ultimate source of strength and growth for the church.
Tradition has it that Andrew took the gospel to Russia, Greece, Asia Minor, and Turkey.
He lived to an old age and died a martyr’s death, but he died telling others about Christ.
According to tradition, it was in Greece, in the town of Pastras, that Andrew met his martyr’s death. When Andrew came to the town, Maximillia, the wife of the governor, was at the point of death.
Because of Andrews ministry to the family in this time of crisis, the governors wife and brother became Christians, but the governor remained hostile to the Christian faith.
The governor was so enraged by the conversions of his wife and brother he arrested Andrew.
Later Andrew was condemned to death. To prolong his agony, he was not nailed, only bound, to the cross to die of hunger, thirst, and exposure.
When faced with the cross, Andrew prayed. Part of his prayer was “Hail precious cross, thou hast been consecrated by the body of my Lord.
I have ardently loved thee.
Receive me into thy arms, and present me to my master that he who redeems me on thee may receive me by thee”.
An ordinary life was extraordinarily powerful when lived in the spirit of the cross.
And there is no reason that our ordinary lives can’t be extraordinarily powerful just like Andrew’s
I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word. When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer. There’s nothing that’s too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!
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