Andrew, Peter’s Brother

28 Oct

As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew (Mk. 1:29, NIV).

Andrew was an overlooked disciple of Jesus. He was often simply identified as Peter’s brother. This makes me wonder if there was any sibling rivalry between them. The scriptures don’t say the brothers were ever at odds, so apparently no rivalry existed. But what does the Bible tell us about Andrew?

He was first a student of John the Baptist. John was with two disciples as Jesus walked by, and he identified him as the Lamb of God. So the two followed him to find out where he stayed. The gospel writer reported, “Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus” (Jn. 1:40-42a, NIV). Andrew became a disciple of Jesus almost automatically, recognizing him as the Messiah, and his first action was to introduce his brother to Jesus. The brothers seem to have been close in their affections for one another. Plus, after spending one afternoon in Christ’s home, Andrew ceased learning from John the Baptist and switched allegiances to Jesus. He was quietly convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, something his brother didn’t confess until much later in Christ’s ministry (see Mt. 16:13-20).

When Jesus made Andrew’s discipleship official (by calling him, Peter, James and John on the shore of Lake Galilee, cp. Mt. 4:19-20), Andrew responded swiftly. He did not hesitate, just as he did not wait to tell Peter what he believed about Jesus. When another of the disciples, Philip, raised doubt about feeding a large group of people, Andrew quickly spoke up with a half-idea about what to do. He said, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” (Jn. 6:9) Jesus took his suggestion—along with Andrew’s partial belief in his ability—and miraculously fed 5,000-plus people. Andrew showed himself over and over to be willing to believe that Jesus was the Christ and had power to do what people needed. He also showed himself as ready to take action in whatever way he could in order to serve Jesus and others.

Andrew was not a prominent disciple, like his brother, but he was always willing and prepared to act. Without Andrew, Peter might not have met the Lord. Without Andrew, Jesus might have had to demonstrate his ability to help humanity in a different way from feeding the multitude. Andrew’s presence and readiness meant that much positive good happened during Jesus’ time on earth.

What about you and me? Do you think we could be a little more prepared to do whatever good we can to serve Jesus Christ in the present day? We might never become prominent, but we could be very useful to the Lord.

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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Behind the Bible...


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