by Kevin Burton
Peter walked on water, Thomas doubted. Quick, what did Andrew do?
If you can’t answer that question, you’re not alone.
Andrew’s role as a disciple is much less celebrated but very important. Take note especially if you are a reluctant public speaker, easily intimidated from sharing the gospel.
Andrew was a connector; he brought people to Jesus. The Bible doesn’t record any eloquent speeches by Andrew, just a knowledge of what scripture says about the Messiah and a willingness to take people to Him.
Andrew and John at first followed John the Baptist, according to the New Testament book of John, chapter one. But when John the Baptist declared that Jesus was the Messiah (“Behold, the Lamb of God.”) John and Andrew began to follow Jesus.
“One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 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” (John 1:40-42 NKJV).
“After spending the time with Jesus, Andrew became convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, and he took action,” reads a passage on www.gotquestions.org.
“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.” Thus Andrew was one of Jesus’ first two followers and the first to bring another person to Him.”
“This case is an excellent pattern of all cases where spiritual life is vigorous. As soon as a man has found Christ, he begins to find others,” writes Alistair Begg, speaker on the Truth for Life radio ministry. “I will not believe that you have tasted of the honey of the Gospel if you can eat it all yourself.”
“Each one reach one,” is the way I heard it in Christian circles some years ago.
Malcolm Gladwell wrote about connectors in his 2000 book The Tipping Point. He was writing in a secular context about key people who get ideas spread around.
Gladwell’s ideal connector is a person with contacts in various levels of society.
“Connectors are the people in a community who know large numbers of people and who are in the habit of making introductions. They usually know people across an array of social, cultural, professional, and economic circles, and make a habit of introducing people who work or live in different circles,” Gladwell wrote.
In the case of sharing the gospel however, your source of connection and power is Jesus. Andrew was an unschooled fisherman, not well connected in society and not prominent even in his own small circles. But Andrew had a message he could not keep to himself.
“Andrew was quietly in the background and we really know very little about him,” reads a Monday morning update circulated from the church where I work. “Still when John wrote his gospel, he considered it important to tell us what Andrew was doing in the background. Three times Andrew appears in John’s gospel and in each appearance Andrew is taking someone to meet Jesus.”
“Spiritual monopoly” is the term Begg uses to describe of unfortunate tendency to not share this eternal, life-saving message.
“True grace puts an end to all spiritual monopoly. Andrew first found his own brother Simon and then others,” Begg wrote. “Relationship has a very strong demand our first individual efforts.”
Begg urges people to do as Andrew did and start at home when sharing the gospel.
“I doubt whether there are not some Christians giving away tracts at other people’s houses who would do well to give away a tract at their own,” Begg writes.
“You may or may not be called to evangelize the people in any particular locality, but certainly you are called to witness to your own family and acquaintances.”
“When Andrew went to find his brother he little imagined how eminent Simon would become,” Begg writes. “Simon Peter was worth ten Andrews so far as we can gather from sacred history, yet Andrew was instrumental in bringing him to Jesus.”
“You may be very deficient in talent yourself and yet you may be the means of drawing to Christ one who shall become eminent in grace and service,” Begg writes.
“Dear friend, you hardly know the possibilities that are in you. You may simply speak a word to a child and in that child there may be slumbering a noble heart that shall stir the Christian church in years to come.”