Andrew lived in the bigger-than-life shadow of his boisterous, flamboyant, loud-mouthed brother. Peter was always in the forefront, usually speaking first, and constantly taking charge.
Unlike his brother, Andrew was quiet, thoughtful, happy to be away from the limelight. While Simon Peter is mentioned over one-hundred-sixty times in the New Testament, Andrew is named only thirteen times.
We know that Andrew spent three years with Jesus. We know that he was present when Jesus taught and when He performed miracles. When Peter was taking center-stage, Andrew was quietly listening and learning. While Peter was on the Mount of Transfiguration, Andrew was in the valley below (Mark 9). While Peter was invited into the home of Jairus, Andrew waited outside with the other guest (Mark 5). And while Peter entered the Garden of Gethsemane, Andrew stayed at the gate (Mark 14).
Interestingly, Andrew became a believer first. He’s credited with introducing Peter to the long-awaited Messiah. Andrew, an early disciple of John the Baptist, was in the crowd when John pointed his finger toward Jesus and announced, “Look, the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36). After spending time with Jesus, Andrew “found his own brother Simon and told him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ … and he brought Simon to Jesus” (John 1:41-42). I suspect that Jesus winked at Andrew, saying, “Well done!”
Many months later, when Jesus was teaching the multitude of five-thousand men and their families, the Lord stretched Philip’s faith by asking, “Where will we buy bread so that these people can eat?” (John 6:5). Philip was flabbergasted. “Two hundred denarii worth of bread wouldn’t be enough for each of them to have a little” (John 6:7). The rest of the disciples, including Peter, urged Jesus to send the hungry crowds away (Matthew 14:15) but Andrew humbly approached Jesus. “There’s a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish” (John 6:9). It wasn’t much food and it sure wasn’t much faith, but it was a little… faith about the size of a tiny mustard seed (Matthew 17:20). I’ll bet that Jesus smiled at Andrew as he took the meager lunch in His hands and gave instructions to have the multitudes seated.
At the last Passover, as Jesus was making final preparations for His death, burial, and resurrection, some Gentiles sought an audience with Jesus. “They came to Philip … and requested of him, ‘Sir, we want to see Jesus.’ Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus” (John 12:20–22). Jesus responded with an explanation of a costly Gospel. Salvation is a free gift from God, but discipleship is costly. “The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25).
Tradition says that the Twelve Apostles died as martyrs. John died as an exile on Patmos. Peter was crucified upside-down. Paul was beheaded and Andrew was crucified on an “X” shaped cross. Each of these, including Andrew, gladly sacrificed their lives in faithful surrender to Jesus.
Andrew never walked on water, and he didn’t draw a sword to protect Jesus from the thugs at Gethsemane… but Andrew faithfully brought his brother to Jesus… he brought a generous little boy to Jesus… and he brought a group of Gentile seekers to Jesus…
I want to be like Andrew!