Andy was a nice enough guy, but he never seemed to stand out from the crowd. Andy was very insightful but not very vocal. He was a hard worker but not perceived as a leader. He demonstrated great care and concern for the well-being of other people. Perhaps what we notice most about Andy is how his brother overshadowed him. His brother was one of these “larger-than-life figures” who did everything at full speed.
Whereas Andy was cautious, his brother was bold and daring. Things didn’t always work out well for his brother, but everyone knew when he was around. History forgot about Andy, but his brother’s name is known worldwide. Despite all of this, I would rather be like Andy.
We know Andy better as the apostle Andrew; his brother was Peter. We don’t know if anybody called him Andy. I believe that most of us can relate easier to Andrew than we can to Peter. I have identified four traits about Andrew that each one of us should desire to possess. We find our introduction to Andrew in the first chapter of John.
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. John 1:35–42 (NLT)
Andrew was the lesser-known of the two fishermen brothers. Although regarded as the first disciple of Jesus, Andrew appears 14 times in 12 verses, and 4 of those are lists of the apostles. Andrew is not mentioned again after the opening chapters of Acts. Peter had big moments, both good and bad. He walked on water but also denied Christ before the crucifixion. Andrew is a great role model; we can learn from his life. There is nothing wrong with wanting to “Be like Andy.”
Andrew Understood That Jesus Was the Messiah
Andrew had an encounter with Jesus while he was a disciple of John the Baptist. John declared, as he saw Jesus, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” That was enough for Andrew; he began to follow Jesus. Andrew, and another unnamed disciple, spent the rest of the day with Jesus. This encounter convinced Andrew that Jesus was the Christ. He went to find his brother, telling Peter, “We have found the Messiah.” Finding Jesus changed everything for Andrew.
Sometime later in Matthew 16, Jesus asked his disciples: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” The disciples answer: “Some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” But then Jesus asked: “But who do you say that I am?”
Andrew might have thought, “I’ve got this!” There must’ve been a moment of hesitation because Peter answered, “You, the son of the living God.” Andrew may not have been the one to speak up, but he knew that Jesus was more than a good teacher or rabbi. He knew who Jesus was, even if Peter was credited for speaking up first.
Recognizing Jesus as Christ is the most important discovery that we can make. Andrew was spiritually perceptive and realized who Jesus was even before others. Let’s be like Andy.
Andrew Was Concerned about Other People
in John 6, we see a large crowd gathered to hear Jesus. They did not think about lunch in their haste to hear Jesus. As the people came, Jesus asked Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for all these people to eat?” Jesus already knew what he would do, but this was a test. Philip said that even if we had half a year’s wages, it wouldn’t be enough to give each person even a bite.
We see verse 8 and notice some things: the text says Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. Even though no other disciples were named Andrew, John felt it necessary to let us know that he was Peter’s brother. Also, apart from our text in John 1, these are the only words from Andrew in Scripture.
Andrew said, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” Some commentators say that Andrew demonstrated a lack of faith with these words because he did not anticipate the miracle of multiplication. I’m not sure why they see it this way, but I see an individual, Andrew, who greatly cares for people. It was in his heart to care for people.
He Learned To Care
I do not know if concern was an innate characteristic of Andrew or if he learned it by observing Jesus. In either case, a concern for other people pleases God. Many times in the Gospels, we will see that when Jesus saw people, particularly those in need, he was moved with compassion. One of my favorites is Mark 6:34: Jesus and the disciples had just gotten to the shore and were getting out of the boat, and the text says: “He was moved with compassion because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he began to teach them many things.”
Jesus had intimate knowledge of every person in the crowd. If we had had the same ability, we might be inclined to say, “So sorry, but you made some bad choices, and now you are reaping the consequences.” It’s easy to judge people and much harder to care about them. Like Jesus, Andrew cared about the needs of people. I might’ve said to the crowd, “Maybe, you should have thought ahead and brought some food.” Lord, help us to be like Andy in his care for others.
It’s All about Jesus
Years ago, we took a family trip to Washington, DC. We spent over two weeks in the capital and surrounding areas. Of course, there were many memorials dedicated to presidents and soldiers. Gettysburg was particularly moving, but for me, the tomb of the unknown soldier at Arlington National Cemetery had a tremendous impact. The solemn precision of the honor guard and the inscription on the tomb reads: “Here lies an honored American soldier, known but to God.”
In some ways, it reminds me of Andrew and, for that matter, many of the apostles. Andrew was first a disciple of John the Baptist. For a relatively brief moment, John the Baptist was famous. People flocked from the cities to come and see him in the wilderness. When Jesus came along, disciples like Andrew left him and followed Jesus. John would soon lose his life.
Even some of John’s remaining disciples began to point out to him that everyone was now following Jesus. John understood that it was all about Jesus and was ultimately at peace. He had a mission, and he finished it. John the Baptist knew that he was just a friend of the bridegroom, and he was overjoyed to hear the bridegroom’s voice. John could say, “I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.”
Someday I will fade from memory, perhaps “known but to God.” That is okay because it’s not about me. In life and death, it is all about Jesus. Fame and fortune are fleeting, but a life lived in service to the master will store up treasure in heaven. Like Andrew, let’s work to see that Jesus is remembered.
He Brought People to Jesus
Andrew told Peter about Jesus and introduced him. When the account of history is written in heaven, we will find out the true impact of each life. We can only speculate what might have happened had Andrew not brought Peter to Jesus.
We may be concerned if we will be remembered. We will most likely not, but we can have an impact that could last for generations. The older I get, how brief our time on earth is. C. T. Studd wrote: “We only have one life to live. It will soon be past. Only what is done for Christ will last.” How important is it for us and others to bring as many people to Jesus as possible while we still have time? Let’s be like Andy!