Bible References: Mark 13.1-4; John 8.6-9; John 12.21-22;
Heart of Story: Andrew was an apostle of Jesus and brought his brother, Simon Peter, to Jesus.
Back Story: He was a younger brother of Peter. Initially, Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist. His home was Bathsaida where he was a fisherman. Thus, Andrew was one of Jesus’ first two followers and the first to bring another person to Him. Although from a Jewish family, Andrew is a Greek name suggesting the influence of Greek culture in the region where Andrew’s family lived.
Church History: Andrew is considered the fourth most important apostle after Peter, James and John. On the Christian calendar, Andrew’s feast day is November 30. The beginning of the Church year is Advent. Advent begins on the Sunday closest to St. Andrew’s feast day.
Andrew was martyred by crucifixion in the city of Patras, on the northern coast of Greece around 70 AD. Andrew considered himself unworthy of being crucified in the same manner as Jesus. Thus, he was crucified on a cross in the shape of an X. This X shaped cross has become a symbol for St. Andrew.
Here’s how Andrew became an apostle: Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee. He came across Andrew and Peter, busy casting nets into the lake in search of fish. Jesus called to them: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” Andrew and Peter “immediately” followed Jesus, leaving their nets behind. This situation suggests that clearly Andrew had previous contact with Jesus.
An instance where Andrew was a “fisher of men:” Some Greeks approached Philip, one of Andrew’s fellow disciples. These Greeks wanted to see and talk to Jesus. Andrew and Philip brought their request to Jesus. From what we know from church history and tradition, Andrew kept bringing people to Jesus, even after Jesus’s death.
The Gospel mention Andrew’s name in Jesus’s miracle of multiplication of loaves and fishes in Galilee. It was Andrew who pointed out to Jesus that a young boy had five barley loaves and two fish. Andrew asked the question: “but what good is that for so many?” A realist, Andrew recognized the insufficiency of this minimal resource.
Andrew wasn’t afraid to ask Jesus questions. As Jesus and disciples left Jerusalem, Andrew pointed out the massive walls that supported the Temple. Jesus responded that in the future not one stone would be left upon another. Andrew, together with Peter, James and John, questioned him: “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign when these things are all to be accomplished?” In response, Jesus offered an important discourse on the destruction of Jerusalem and on the end of the world.
Andrew left the family business and security to follow an itinerant rabbi. Andrew sets a good example for all us. We are all called to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,” and we should not let anything get in the way of following Jesus’ call.
When you find something really, really good, do you want to share the “good” with another person? Or, do you jealously want to keep the good for yourself? Andrew found Jesus (something really good) and gladly shared him with his older brother.
Reflection: Andrew is a great role model. Contemplate some ways that you can use Andrew’s life to enact Jesus’s instructions for your life.
Copyright: January 15, 2019; Carolyn Adams Roth
Please visit my website for books on lesser known Bible characters: http://www.CarolynRothMinistry.com