Summary: The most important character trait we can learn from Andrew is how to win with people.
One of the most important character traits we can learn from Andrew is how to win with people.
1. ANDREW INCLUDED PEOPLE
When Jesus called Andrew to be his disciple the Bible tells us that …
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 (John 1:41-42a NIV).
So we see that Andrew knew how to win with people because he included others in his life. He brought people along with him. And we need to do the same if we want to win with people. You need to include others.
By including people, Andrew was only copying what he saw Jesus doing. In fact Andrew himself had been the recipient of an invitation from Jesus to be included as one of the Twelve Apostles.
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him (Matthew 4:18-20 NIV).
The greatest assignment in which you can include others is the mission of doing the Lord’s work. And when you include others in that calling – everybody wins.
2. ANDREW SAW PEOPLE NOT PROBLEMS
One day, at the height of Jesus’ popularity, he was teaching by the sea. A large crowed had gathered around to hear him. Now what Jesus had to say must have been gripping because, before they knew it, it was dusk. The day slipped them by and now it was time to eat. Unfortunately they were miles away from the nearest town – and the nearest food.
There was a problem. But Jesus took the opportunity to teach the disciples an important lesson, and John records what happened …
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, "Eight months’ wages would not 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?" Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish (John 6:5-11 NIV).
Jesus asked Philip what should be done. Philip took a quick survey, and came back with the statistics. For Philip, this was a financial problem. It would take eight months wages to feed that many people. But Andrew took a different approach. Andrew saw the people not the problem.
The greatest resource present that day was a small boy who was willing to give up everything he had in order to serve Jesus and others. And who singled this boy out of the crowd – Andrew. Once again we see Andrew including people. Andrew didn’t know how to solve the problem – but the point is he found a person willing to serve Jesus. And so Andrew gave a small boy the opportunity to be right at the centre of a miracle!
Andrew could see people, not problems.
3. ANDREW EMPATHISED WITH PEOPLE
Andrew could also connect with people who were very different to him.
Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. 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 NIV)
Andrew had understood that to win with people, you have to trade places with them – You have to empathise with people. To win with people you have to make an exchange – put yourself in their shoes - and ask yourself, “What’s it like for this person?” These men were curios about Jesus. They had questions for him. And Andrew knew exactly what that was like because he had once been in that place himself; – a curious seeker.
When we empathise with others we are like Jesus – and we win with people.
Andrew was a people person. Andrew included people. Andrew saw people not problems. And Andrew empathised with people. Andrew teaches us a very important biblical character trait - and that is how to win with people.