We started a new series on Easter weekend called Ordinary People. It does not matter who you are or where you come from, God uses everyday ordinary people. Last Sunday, we studied Peter. This week, we look at Andrew. His name means “manly.” He and his brother Peter were fishermen from the same fishing community as James and John. He was follower of John the Baptist. When John the Baptist pointed to Jesus and said, “Behold the Lamb of God,” he immediately followed Jesus. Andrew is mentioned in three stories in the Gospel of John. In them we see three attributes in Andrew that teach us three lessons:
At the end of John 1 when Andrew begins to follow Jesus, we read, “He first found his own brother Simon and told him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated ‘the Christ’), and he brought Simon to Jesus” (v. 41-42). There is a difference between church work and the work of the church. Jesus told them, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men” (Mt. 4:19). He commanded them, “Go out into the highways and hedges and make them come in, so that my house may be filled” (Lk. 14:23). The Church is not a building. It is people and people reach people. That is the work of the church. We are here for those who are not yet here! J.C. Ryle said, “The highest form of selfishness is that of the man who is content to go to heaven alone.” In John 1, Andrew brings Peter, his brother to Jesus. What family members do you need to bring to Jesus? In John 6, he brings the lad with the sack lunch to Jesus. Think of the children we need to bring to Jesus. That is why we do events like Kids Week. In John 12 he brings a group of Greeks to Jesus. They were his work associates and were of a different ethnic group. What buddies, neighbors, co-workers do you need to bring to Jesus?
In John 6, Andrew is the one who brings the boy with the five loaves and two fish to Jesus (v. 8-9). From that lunch, Jesus fed a crowd that scholars estimate to be between 10,000-20,000 people. It is the only miracle mentioned in all four gospels. The disciples had several problems. There was no place to buy food. There was no money to buy enough food. It looked impossible, hopeless even. Whatever your shortage, bring it to Jesus. God is a God of order not a God of chaos and drama! Notice he made the crowds sit down (v. 10). Sit down and take a deep breath! Little is much when God is in it. We are not owners, we are stewards. God owns it all. He blesses us to be a blessing to others. When we bless others, we get our baskets full! How many disciples were there? 12. How many baskets were leftover? 12. When their basket was empty, they had to come back to Jesus for more. Jesus is our source. Do you want your basket full? Give all you have to Jesus and watch Him bless it and multiply it.
In John 12, Andrew brings some Greeks to Jesus. Greeks were not included but Andrew brought them anyway. He had a heart for God and a heart for people. Jesus immediately talked to them about the cross using an illustration of wheat. Greeks believed greatness was seen in education and intellect. Jesus said I did not come to be served but to serve. He laid down his one life and in return reaped a spiritual harvest of salvation for all who will trust in Him. Wheat has a definite beginning. It is dead and buried. Then it comes to life. That is salvation. Over time and circumstances we grow and mature. The same happens to wheat and then it is gathered and crushed to feed hungry people. The only way to produce much fruit is to daily die to self. You have to die to your dreams, desires, ambition, and make it your one and only goal to glorify God in everything you do. When you live a self-centered life, you will lose everything you are trying to accumulate and hold on to. When your life is all about you, finding yourself, making yourself happy, you are going to be miserable! God will honor and reward those who die to self and live for God!
If you want to be first, you have to be last. If you want to receive, you have to give. If you want to live, you have to die. That is what Andrew did. Tradition says he took the Gospel north. One account says he led the wife of the Roman Governor to Christ. When she refused to deny Christ, he had Andrew crucified on an X shaped cross. As people passed by, he begged them to trust Jesus. In life and in death he was still bringing people to Jesus!
The Master’s Men by MacArthur
Be Transformed by Wiersbe
The Pathway to God’s Presence by Elliff