Summary: Nobody but Jesus can know just how a great an impact this ordinary man has had in history, and in the kingdom of God. All we know for sure is that he is one of history's most famous ordinary men.
Colonel Bottomly was rising to the level of general in the United
States Air Force. He was a proud self-sufficient man who needed
nobody. He felt that if you could succeed without God you didn't
need Him. As he rose in power he began to feel he could do as he
pleased, and he did. He bombed across the border in the war in Viet
Nam. It was a violation of the rules of war, but he thought he was
above the rules, and he could do what other morals could not do. He
didn't get by with it, however, and was facing a court martial. His
whole world began to tumble in, and he was filled with stress. He
called his son who was a Christian. When his son explained how he
could become a child of God by receiving Jesus as his Savior, he
prayed right over the phone and became a Christian.
Here was a famous man who became a Christian because of the
witness of an ordinary an unknown man. This has been the case with
many of the famous Christians of history. They are brought to Jesus
by ordinary people. D. L. Moody was brought to Christ by an
obscure Sunday School teacher. Charles Spurgeon was brought to
Christ by an unlettered man. Peter is one of the most famous names
in Christian history. It is hard to imagine anyone who has not heard
of Peter, but he was brought to Jesus by his ordinary brother Andrew.
Andrew never did anything wild and spectacular like his live
wire brother Peter. He never leaped over the side of the boat to
walk on water. He never drew his sword to take on the Roman
army single handed. He never preached to the masses like Peter did
at Pentecost. Andrew was a quiet behind the scenes type of person.
He had no great gifts that make him stand out. He was just an
ordinary guy who loved to introduce people to Jesus. That is about
all Andrew ever did in the record we have of his life. He represents
the majority of Christians who feel ungifted and ordinary.
Some believers like Barnabas are extra-ordinary people. They
are unique, and they have gifts that most do not have. It is not that
ordinary people can't be like Barnabas. They can be like them and
imitate some of their best qualities, but they can never be equal to
them. Andrew did nothing that the rest of us could not do if we
choose to do it. Andrew is connected with evangelism, but we let
this word scare us. We think we have to be very gifted people to do
evangelism. This is a failure to see that we are confusing the gifted
evangelists with the ministry of evangelism. All Andrew did was
invite people to come to Jesus. He was an inviter. He was not a
leader, but a follower but he could invite others to come to Jesus to
see for themselves what He could do in their lives.
We have this mistaken idea that if a person is filled with the
Spirit he will become a dynamic soul winner leaving streaks of
lightening in his path as he blazes across the stage of history. The
New Testament reveals no such thing. Andrew was a quiet sort of
guy who just confronted people one on one and said, "Let me
introduce you to Jesus." Andrew knew Jesus was the Way and so he
pointed others to the Way. He brought Peter to Jesus, and then
Peter left Andrew in the shadow, for Peter was far more gifted. But
Andrew did not fret and complain and feel bad about himself. He
just kept bringing people to Jesus. He is the one who brought the
lad with his lunch to Jesus, and Jesus used it to feed the multitudes.
He is the one who brought the first Greeks to Jesus as well. He was
not the kind of guy who could preach like Peter, but he
could point a man like Peter to Jesus. He could not feed the
crowds, but he could point a lad to Jesus, and Jesus could feed the
crowd. He could not change Greeks, but he could bring them to
Jesus who could change them. Andrew was sort of a middle man.
He linked people up with Jesus and made great things happen. He
did not do the great things, but they happened because he did his
ordinary things to prepare the way.
Do you think anything wonderful and marvelous ever happens
without many ordinary things preparing the way? Do you think a
space craft soars into the sky with its spectacular blastoff without a
thousand and one ordinary people doing ordinary things first? Do