John 1:41 - He (Andrew) first found his own brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which means Christ).
You know that Jesus gave Simon the nickname of Peter for his bold confession of faith, but I'm giving an A for the day to anyone who can share what moniker the early church bestowed upon his brother Andrew.
Wow, that's right! I didn't think you'd all get it. The early church called Andrew, "protokletos," which means "first-called." As you know, Andrew was first on the list of Jesus' disciples.
Now you know Andrew wasn't the kind of guy who stole the limelight. He was not the sort of fellow who stood out in a crowd. Scripture paints him as a modest sort of man, always blending in to the background. On Pentecost his words aren't recorded for history, and the New Testament doesn't have any books named First or Second Andrew.
Andrew was never elected to be the chairman of the disciples' board. When we think of the great personages who have flashed across the pages of human history, when we remember some of the Bible's heroes of faith, somehow Andrew is almost always left out.
That's a shame, because Andrew had a friend.
Moreover, wherever you see Andrew in the pages of the New Testament, you will find him introducing people to Jesus, his friend, and the world's only Savior.
Andrew's story begins in Bethsaida -- a word that means "house of the fisherman." He was employed at the family business, and he might have stayed there forever if it hadn't been for the friend he met on the shores of the Jordan River. The first thing Andrew did after he got to know Jesus was hurry home to find his brother Simon and say, "Simon, come and meet my friend, the Messiah!"
Have you ever noticed that when people come to know Jesus, they're filled with an urge to tell others about their newfound friend? True, sometimes we do so in an obnoxious way, and end up turning off our listeners. Sometimes we can be like our pal who buys a new car or computer and talks and talks and talks. Sometimes we can be like the grandmother who searches for victims to whom she can show her suitcase of grandchildren photographs.
But the fact is, Andrew knew, Christians need to share their friend with others.
In the rest of the New Testament, you will see Andrew bringing a boy to Jesus with some loaves and fishes. Or he, along with Philip, is introducing some Greeks to the Savior, after they had come and requested: "Sir, we would see Jesus."
Although the New Testament authors seem to neglect Andrew, Jesus knew -- as should we -- that without people like Andrew, there would never be people like Peter! That's because the real work of the church, any church, is not done just by people like Peter who get their names in the newspapers. It is also done by the millions of Andrews: the humble men and women who aren't afraid to say to a friend or family member "Come with me. I've found the Lord."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I must confess doing evangelism can scare me. Help me see, and emulate Andrew who simply said to those around him, "Come, I've found the Lord." This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries