Sunday, January 19, 2014

Andrew - bit player

TODAY'S SPECIAL: John 1:29-42

TO CHEW ON: "One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, 'We have found the Messiah' (which is translated the Christ)." John 1:40-41

Andrew is one of those mid-list disciples — not a spotlight one like Peter, John, or Judas, but neither known only by his name, like Bartholomew or Simon the Canaanite.

Here are some things the Bible tells us about Andrew:

1. He was a fisherman and Simon Peter's brother (in fact, his relationship with his brother is usually tagged onto his name, seemingly becoming part of his identity). (Matthew 4:18).

2. He was a seeker. Originally he was a disciple of John the Baptist—apparently one activity he didn't share with his brother (John 1:40).

3. When John pointed out Jesus as the Lamb of God, Andrew left John and followed Jesus, spending a day in His home (John 1:39).

4. That day must have made quite an impression on him, for shortly after he brought his brother Simon to meet Jesus (John 1:42).

5. Later, after John was put in prison and Simon and Andrew were back fishing, Jesus' simple invitation "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men," prompted the response: "They immediately left their nets and followed Him" (Matthew 4:19-20).

6. It was Andrew who brought the boy with the five barley loaves and two fish to Jesus (John 6:8-9).

7. Andrew was also instrumental in introducing some curious Greek seekers to Jesus (John 12:21-22).

8. He is named with the other disciples as one of those gathered in the upper room after Jesus' ascension, waiting the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:13).

I like this simple fisherman, keen for truth, with his helpful ways. He was a natural at networking, introducing people to Jesus, taking note of significant details, helping the outsiders, seamlessly playing his part within the body of believers.

Paul likens the part we each play in the church to the variety of parts in our physical bodies (1 Corinthians 12). We can't all be the most prominent ones—the mouths, the feet, the hands. Some of us are parts that are less showy. Andrew seems to have got that. I see him as someone who wasn't at all bothered about not being like his more outspoken and influential brother Peter. He was satisfied to be just who he was. May we all be as content fulfill our roles in Christ's body, whether hidden or high profile.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for the amazing organism that is the church. Help me to find my place and live it without jealousy or fear. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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