Summary: From Andrew’s testimony we learn that there are no insignificant gifts, no inconspicuous service and evangelism one on one is powerful and effective! Please read this sermon to learn more.
Andrew: The Apostle of Small Things
Online Sermon: http://www.mckeesfamily.com/?page_id=3567
Ever feel that the resources, time and spiritual gifts that you have to offer are too insignificant to make a difference in God’s kingdom? If one cannot sing like an angel, preach and thousands become born again, pray and have the earth shake, have faith that moves the mightiest of mountains, command healing through the power of the Holy Spirit and have unspeakable love that has no limits and is inclusive of all; then why bother serving in God’s kingdom? Unfortunately, many Christians foolishly believe that the public results of service are far more important than the object of one’s service, pleasing God! While service that is seen by many is often deemed impressive, so are the acts done in secret of which no eye can see except our Father in heaven. While Apostle Andrew never preached to multitudes of people, never founded any churches, wrote any epistles or was mentioned in the book of Acts; his indiscrete service has been heard loud and clear for centuries! From Andrew’s testimony we learn that there are no insignificant gifts, no inconspicuous service and evangelism one on one is powerful and effective!
Background on Andrew
Andrew’s family lived in the city of Bethsaida on the northern shore of the sea of Galilee (John 1:44) but later moved to Capernaum where he and his brother Peter had a fishing business (Mark 1:21, 29), with James and John as likely partners (Luke 5:10). Andrew’s father’s name was Jonah (Matthew 16:17) or John (John 1:42, 21:15-17). After having heard John the Baptist’s testimony that Jesus was the “Lamb of God” (John 1:35-40), both Andrew and Peter became apostles of Christ. Andrew is always listed in the top four names of the apostles, along with Peter and two other brothers, John and James (Matthew 10:2-4; Luke 6:13-16; Acts 1:13-14). While the Bible does not mention the death of Andrew, tradition is rather uniform that he was not nailed but lashed to a X-shaped cross and that it took two days of suffering before he died.
The First Disciple
Before he met Jesus Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist (John 1:35). While he whose name meant ‘manly’ could have been impressed by the rugged man who lived in the desert, clothed in camel’s hair and whose diet was locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:4), it would have been John’s role as forerunner of the Messiah (Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1) that would have impressed Andrew the most! It had been over 400 years since God spoke to humanity through the last prophet Malachi, and now the “voice of one calling in the wilderness” was challenging the people to “prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him” (Matthew 3:3). John warned the crowd that Jesus would soon come and those who had by faith received His Good News would be baptized by the Holy Spirit and those who rejected Him would be burned up like chaff in the unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:11-12). Andrew most likely recognized John’s words to be the fulfilment of Scripture so he became one of his disciples.
The moment Andrew met Jesus he became His disciple. When questioned by the priests, Levites and Pharisees who he was, John the Baptist freely confessed that he was not the Messiah but merely a voice calling in the wilderness who was unworthy to untie straps and sandals of Christ (John 1:24-27). Andrew who had been waiting for the right Person to be identified was overwhelmed when he heard John speak the words “look, the Lamb of God” (verses 35-36). Both Andrew and the other disciple with him (either John or Phillip) immediately left their former teacher John and followed Jesus! The very next thing Andrew did was he went and got his brother Peter and brought him to the Messiah (verse 41). We are told in Scripture that Andrew and Peter both went back to Capernaum and continued their fishing career for what might have been several months and then were formally called by Jesus and assigned their roles as “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:18-22). Immediately they left their fishing business and followed Jesus!
Andrew and Peter had completely different leadership styles. Peter was often brash, clumsy, hasty and impulsive. Growing up with Peter, Andrew must have known the moment that Peter joined the twelve he would soon take charge and as a result would be relegated to a secondary status. And yet there is no bitterness, sibling rivalry or estrangement to be found between these men of God! Andrew knew in his heart that being called by the Chief Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20) meant that the Messiah had great things planned for each of the disciples. While Peter’s leadership style was bold and aggressive, Andrew’s leadership style was one that used the gifts and calling bestowed upon him to work in the background as a one on one evangelist. While you will not find stories of Andrew walking on water or preaching in front of big crowds like his brother Peter, Andrew’s leadership is equally impressive for he certainly knew the value of relational ministry! “His eagerness to follow Christ, combined with his zeal for introducing others to Him, fairly typifies Andrew’s character.” The remainder of this sermon will focus on what we can learn from Andrew’s leadership style: 1) there is value in inconspicuous service, 2) small gifts and 3) one on one evangelism.