Though we read a few things about Andrew, it doesn’t mean that we can’t learn anything from his life. Here’s a blog that lists 10 vital lessons from the life of Andrew, the Apostle.
His Greek name means “a strong man”. He was the first disciple of Christ. He is a fisherman from an obscure place on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
His name is Andrew.
When you think of the 12 Apostles of Jesus/Yahshua, Andrew is not someone who you would come first in mind. He is rather an obscure figure with little things written about him in the Gospels or even in the whole New Testament books.
However, reading the life of Andrew helps us understand how to be a zealous and follower of the Greatest Teacher who ever walked on this planet.
In this post, let me share with you the 10 most powerful lessons we can learn from the life of the Apostle Andrew.
Lesson no. 1: Humility is needed to answer the call of God
We first read how Jesus called Andrew, along with his brother, Simon Peter.
“And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ They immediately left their nets and followed Him” (Matthew 4:18-20).
Notice very closely. Where was Jesus? He was walking by the Sea of Galilee. He isn’t in the great and beautiful palaces in the world. He wasn’t in the synagogues, high courts, or houses of the kings.
He chose to look for the people whom He will constantly acquaint with on the Sea of Galilee where the common people are found.
There Jesus found Andrew and Peter.
We read in I Corinthians 1:26-29 whom God chose to be part of His kingdom:
For you see your calling, brethren, that NOT many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.
Here’s one of the greatest truths that we learn when it comes to God’s calling:
HE NEEDS TO HUMBLE US FIRST BEFORE HE CAN USE US.
Andrew, as a fisherman, has nothing to boast. He isn’t rich. He isn’t learned. He isn’t a famous person whom people look up to.
In the eyes of the world, Andrew is no one, but in God’s sight, he is someone.
God cannot use people who are proud and full of themselves. If a person doesn’t see the need for God, if he is sufficient, and could not see his true wretchedness, then it would be difficult for that person to seek his Creator.
As Christians, we must learn this vital lesson from the life of Andrew. If you want to be a follower of God and Jesus Christ, then you need to humble yourself.
Lesson no. 2: Do not delay your conversion
We know many are called, but few are chosen (Matthew 22:14). Revelation 17:14 adds that they are not just called and chosen, but also faithful.
The Apostle Andrew would not have been chosen nor faithful, if he didn’t FIRST answer the call.
We read of Andrew’s calling in Matthew 4:18-20:
And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They IMMEDIATELY left their nets and followed Him.
Andrew and his brother, Peter didn’t think twice to follow Jesus Christ. When they were called, they IMMEDIATELY left their nets.
In the same manner, we must be ready to answer God’s calling. When He calls us, we must answer immediately. Delaying our conversion should never be an option. We should never think that there is a better time to answer God’s calling than NOW.
Because time is limited. Even if you are at a young age and in perfect health, you never know when your life will end. Time will come when answering God’s call would be too late.
Answer God’s calling as early as possible and you will not just save yourself from many pains, but you will experience a more blessed and joyous life.
Lesson no. 3: constantly seek God in your life
One of the best characteristics of Andrew is his thirst to knowing God. There’s a good reason why Jesus Christ called Andrew first among the other Apostles.
Andrew has this insatiable thirst to know more about God. He constantly looked for ways to get closer to God’s servant and ensured that he learned more and more on how to be God’s faithful servant.
We read in John 1:40 that Andrew was a follower of John the Baptist/Baptizer. As he learned from John that Jesus is indeed the promised Messiah, Andrew went to his brother Peter and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41).
God rewarded Andrew for his constant longing for the truth. Andrew knew early in his life what he wanted to be and that is to live a life pleasing to God. For that reason, God led Him to John and eventually to the Lamb of God.
Lesson no. 4: God can use us to call more people to His Church
As a result of Andrew’s zeal, he became an instrument to bring his brother, Peter, to be part of Christ’s inner circle. We read in John 1:41 how he excitedly told Peter when he found the Christ. After that, he gladly brought Peter to the presence of Jesus.
Never underestimate the power of your example. Christ called us to be his followers not just to warm our seats during church services. He called us to let our light shine “before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Sometimes, it seems to us that preaching the Gospel is useless. After sharing God’s word with others, it seems that no one is responding to God’s call. However, God still called us to sow the seed in people’s heart. It is not our job anymore to convert them. That’s God’s prerogative.
Maybe, we don’t see the seed sprouting yet, but in God’s perfect time, that seed will grow and will bear fruits in ways we can never imagine just like what we learn from the parable of the growing seed.
So, continue to keep God’s word, live the life He has called you to live and let your light shine to the world. God, through your example, will use you to call more people to His Church.
Lesson no. 5: Salvation is of the Gentiles as well
We read the story when Andrew introduced some Greeks to Jesus Christ:
Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus (John 12:20-22).
Perhaps they hesitated when they heard Christ saying, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 15:24).” A response they heard when a faithful Canaanite woman asked for Christ’s healing for her daughter.
It is worth noting that both the names of Andrew and Philip are Greek names. Now, that they have some Greeks who also want to be acquainted with the Redeemer of the earth, Andrew and Philip didn’t deny them of such great privilege.
During Christ’s time, there was a pervasive thinking that those who are not part of the Commonwealth of Israel are “unclean.” They don’t have the right to salvation.
However, this isn’t the plan of God.
Yes, God started working with a small group of people and eventually the nation of Israel, but with the CLEAR INTENT from the beginning to extend salvation to the Gentile world!
The Greek men DESIRED to see Jesus Christ and through Andrew, these men found the Savior and got close to Him.
This instance in the life of Andrew teaches that we must never think that it is ALL ABOUT US. It is not enough to just be part of the Church, but we must fulfill our commission to preach the Gospel and let God call more people through our effort.
Lesson no. 6: We must be watchful of the signs of the age
There’s no doubt; mankind has been fascinated to knowing what the future holds. It seems natural to us to desire how things will unfold or what will happen in the days to come.
Thus, we see an episode here where Andrew and three other disciples asked the Messiah privately:
“Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled” (Mark 13:4)?”
Looking at the current condition of our world today, it is so easy to get discouraged and sad. We have given a front seat to watch all the horrible wars, crimes, calamities, and other awful things you could imagine.
As disheartening the events in this world could be, God wants us to “watch and pray, lest [we] enter into temptation” (Matthew 26:41).
Now, notice that we don’t just watch, but also pray. It is not enough to know the signs of the age.
Watching is not just knowing what’s happening around us, but it also includes watching ourselves and preparing for Christ’s second coming.
That’s why Jesus responded by saying in Mark 13:5:
“Watch out that no one deceives you.”
We don’t watch world events to know when to repent, but we do it as part of our desire for God’s Kingdom to be established here on earth.
Lesson no. 7: Actively look for ways to serve
The Apostle Andrew was a humble man who did not seek pre-eminence. He was satisfied to just work in the background and whether his effort is recognized or not, it doesn’t matter to him.
Thus, we see that there is little written about Andrew. He could be a man of a few words and prefer to work behind the scene.
However, Andrew’s willingness to serve couldn’t be hidden anymore. There’s a story in the life of Jesus that was mentioned in all four Gospels. It was the time when He fed more than 5,000 people.
The Apostle John gave us more details about Andrew’s resourcefulness. We read in John 6:5-9:
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
Andrew, knowing what his Master needs, presented the boy with the provisions. Though he knew that the food isn’t enough, he showed it to Jesus nevertheless.
While Philip saw the problem, Andrew looked for the solution and as nimble as the solution may be, he still gave it to Christ.
Here’s a lesson that we should all learn: we must grab every opportunity to serve. As Christians, we are not called to just be spectators, but players. We are not just to sit on the bleachers, but we must actively be in the arena doing our God-given work.
If you have been in the church long enough, you know this one holds true: those who actively serve in the church are the ones who grow spiritually. Those who choose to be just sitting around and doing nothing, they are the ones who most likely will suffer spiritual growth retardation.
So, if you want to spiritually grow into a mature and productive Christian, then you need to be like Andrew, who actively work for God. Though he works behind the scene, his effort is not wasted and God will reward him graciously because of that.
Lesson no. 8: the little that you have, God can make great
Another lesson that we can learn from the life of Andrew is God’s ability to MAGNIFY the things that we consider as little, insignificant and even nothing.
We have just read the story when Christ fed more than 5,000 people. When the Apostle Andrew saw the boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, he knew that it will never be enough to feed the multitude of people.
What happens if Andrew simply dismissed the boy and sent him back to the crowd? What if Andrew thought to himself that the little food is simply too insignificant that it is not worth presenting it to the Messiah? We could have a different story written in the Bible today.
So, you see, God can do wonders with the little that you have. Just like the small barley loaves and fish, no matter how insignificant they may be in the eyes of men, God can do so much with it.
Don’t we sometimes hesitate to help others because we can only do small things? Sometimes, we simply do nothing just because we thought that we can’t do a significant work. Be it in preaching the Gospel, serving the brethren, visiting the sick, or simply greeting one another, never underestimate the good small things that we can do. Sometimes, those small things occupy the biggest room in the hearts of others.
Lesson no. 9: Serve God in whatever position you are in
The Apostle Andrew was no doubt the first among the called of Jesus Christ. Afterward, Peter, John, and James and the others followed.
As we read the Gospels, we see that eventually Andrew was left out among Christ’s closest disciples. Though he was first called, the prominence was given to Peter, John, and James.
Could you imagine what Andrew could have felt when he seems to be slowly being pushed out of the picture? Could have Andrew struggled with the thought that it was unfair? He was the first to be called and yet, these other Apostles are getting the limelight?
I believe it could have bothered Andrew. After all, he is still human and the gift of the Holy Spirit wasn’t given to them yet. However, did that stop Andrew from staying with Jesus and serving God?
I don’t think so.
Thus, we must strive to do whatever duties or tasks God has given us. It doesn’t matter what position you are holding, whether you are the pastor or part of the clean-up crew. God has placed you in that station for a purpose and as the wisest king of Israel said, “Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
Wouldn’t it be great to have people like Andrew in our church? People won’t be fighting anymore for a church position. People will be just satisfied with what God gave them? Of course, there’s nothing wrong in desiring to do more work, but let it be done out of humility and willingness to yield to God’s purpose and plan.
Lesson no. 10: We are to follow God more than men
The Apostle Andrew was first the disciple of John the Baptist. However, John pointed to Jesus and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God” (John 1:9).
What was Andrew’s response? He left John and became a follower of Jesus Christ.
There were a lot of great spiritual leaders in Israel. However, there’s not a greater teacher than our Savior. Andrew recognized this and he knew whom to follow.
How can we apply this in our Christian life today?
We need to always bear in mind that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church.
It is sad to see how so many Christians today are more willing to follow human leaders than God.
This does not mean that we don’t respect our earthly leaders. In fact, we are admonished to respect and follow our leaders. However, if those leaders go against God’s commandments, we must make the right decision of following God more than them. We must never make them equal to our Savior or God.
These are just some of the best lessons we can learn from the life of Andrew, the Apostle. I hope you learned a lot from this blog. It is my sincerest desire that these lessons will not just stay in your head, but also be applied in your life.