Read: John 1
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”). Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. (John 1:40-42, NLT)
Andrew is arguably the most inspiring figure in the New Testament because of his simple, non-threatening, doable example of how to reach lost people. Andrew didn’t have any special skills or advanced evangelism training, he just simply brought people to meet Jesus, and then let Jesus do the rest.
Even though Andrew was the first disciple Jesus enlisted, and even though he was the first to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, he never achieved the fame that his brother Peter did. Jesus’ never included Andrew in his inner circle, like Peter. Andrew wasn’t there at the Transfiguration, like Peter. Andrew wasn’t there when Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gesthemane, like Peter. Andrew never preached like Peter, never wrote a letter that got included in the New Testament, like Peter, and was never recognized as a key leader in the early church, like James.
Peter’s name appears close to 200 times in the New Testament, 96 times in the four gospels—only Jesus is mentioned more often. We find Andrew in only 11 different places, 10 of them in the Gospels—mostly in a list of the disciples; 5 as “Peter’s brother.” Only 3 times do these passages tell us any details about Andrew—and even that is minimal. Someone once asked a conductor what the most difficult instrument to play in the orchestra was. He said, “second fiddle.” That was Andrew!
Yet beneath everybody’s radar, Andrew was being used in the most powerful way of all—to bring people to Christ. Andrew not only brought Peter to Jesus, but in John 6:8, we find it was Andrew who brought the boy with the loaves and fish to Jesus, and then one of the outstanding miracles of the Bible took place: The feeding of the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish. On account of Andrew, we have a story preserved that has helped millions to understand that Jesus is the true and only Bread of Life. Then in John 12:20, some Greeks came to Philip and said, “we want to see Jesus.” Philip took them to Andrew, and what did Andrew do? He hooked them up with Jesus.
Andrew became both the first home missionary—when he led Peter to Christ, and the first foreign missionary—when he led these Gentiles to Jesus.
In Andrew, you don’t find any special skills or an incredibly charismatic personality, or an extremely articulate speaker. You just find a guy who was faithful, available, and useful. He just kept bringing everybody who got near him to Jesus.
Tradition tells us that Andrew just kept on introducing people to Jesus for the rest of his life. He was finally put to death at a ripe old age in Greece. His death came after he befriended Maximilla, the wife of the Roman proconsul Aegeas, and led her to faith in Christ. Aegeas became so enraged over this that he ordered Andrew to offer sacrifices to a heathen god. When Andrew refused, he was severely beaten, tied to a cross, and crucified. That cross, shaped like an X is today called St. Andrew’s cross. It is said that he lingered for two whole days before dying, but the whole painful time, he preached the Gospel to everyone who came by. Andrew never stopped introducing people to Jesus, even to his last breath.
Every time Andrew is mentioned, he’s bringing someone to Jesus—then Jesus does the rest, and lives get transformed. His single talent seems to have been leveraging his relationships to introduce seekers to Christ. He doesn’t lay the “Four Spiritual Laws” on people; he doesn’t whip out a “Roman Road” tract on them. He just says, “hey, come with me, I’ve got someone I want you to meet.”
That’s the Andrew Factor, which, if you haven’t picked up on it by now, is simply inviting your friends into your spiritual environment—you church, your small group, your ministry team—and letting God do the rest.
“I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith.” —Paul, Philemon 1:6
What If God Took Over?
Employ the Andrew Factor this week: Try bringing someone to church with you on Sunday.