Vol. 8, No. 10
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Andrew might have been a man one would consider average. He came from a city of little reputation. In fact, if one heard of it in the first century, he would know the industry of the place by the meaning of its name, "house of fish," which may have been all for which it was known. We know it today as Bethsaida, a city that would probably be lost if it were not for its preservation in the Scriptures (John 1:44). This city was probably located around the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, where average Andrew practiced an average trade, fishing. The only reason we probably know of Andrew is because he is mentioned about a dozen times in the Bible. Even so, at a glance, Andrew's life seems rather unexciting as compared to others of whom we read. He was a disciple of John the Immerser (John 1:35-40). He even followed Christ and became an apostle (Matthew 10:2). However, in light of the accomplishments of the other apostles, Andrew's seem to fall into the shadows. We do not have any of his preaching recorded like his brother Peter's. He never wrote Scripture. Actually, none of his actions, which are recorded in the Bible, would be considered significant by the world's standards. Nonetheless, because of the One he followed, we would contend that his life has an eternal effect on many souls.
Today, Andrew provides a great example of action. Often, when we feel there is nothing we can do, we are content to do nothing. Andrew, on the other hand, did something. For instance, John 6:5-9 records Jesus testing Philip, concerning feeding 5,000 men, not to mention women and children. Christ asked Philip, "Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" "Philip answered Him, 'Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.'" In contrast, notice how Andrew responded to this seemingly impossible problem. "Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to Him [Jesus], 'There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?'" Andrew did not think he had the means to solve the problem, but he tried. With Jesus' help, the fact that Andrew tried was enough. The next time you come to a situation that seems hopeless, do not settle to do nothing. Offer a kind word, try to help or offer a prayer. What you do may be just enough.
If it were not for Andrew's first response to finding the Christ, the face of the Scriptures and the history of the early church could have been drastically different. John 1:41-42 tells of what Andrew did in response to finding Jesus. "He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, 'We have found the Messiah' (which is translated the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, 'you are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas' (which is translated, A Stone)." From here the apostle of Christ we most often call Peter began to follow the Savior. What would have happened if Andrew did not share his discovery of Jesus with Peter? We cannot know. However, imagine the dramatic effects Peter's absence would cause. Someone else would have given the sermon we have recorded in Acts Chapter 2. There would be no First or Second Peter, and worse, if Peter had not heard of the Savior, he would be lost.
Many may be able to relate to Andrew. Perhaps the place one lives is not world renown. It may only be known for its coal, steel, fishing or farming. The case could be that even you may be a worker in one of these average jobs, an average student in school or living an average retired life. You may say, "There is nothing special about me. What can I do?" It may seem bold to say, but there was nothing special about Andrew, except that he served the Savior. That is what made his life extraordinary. If you can learn a little from this under appreciated man of the Bible, you too can stop living a life of mediocrity and start living a life of service to your Master. Share the precious record of Christ's sacrifice with someone, encourage, thank and pray. You do not have to do what man considers "big things" to have an everlasting affect on souls. Start today. Share Andrew's message: "We have found the Messiah" (John 1:41)!