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Summary: Being a Second fiddles isn't necessarily a bad thing - consider Andrew.

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“Jesus 101: The Life of Second Fiddles”

John 1:29-42

Have you ever stood in the shadow of someone else, by whom you were always compared? It didn’t matter how good you were, or how well you performed; they were always the star, always got the solo, and always got the publicity and press notices. Did you ever begin to feel that your lot in life would always be to play second fiddle, never first chair? You should feel right at home this morning with our Scripture readings, especially with Andrew in John’s Gospel.

SECOND FIDDLES ARE A FACT OF LIFE. I know not only from observation but also PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. In high school, since my sister was older – and smarter – than I was, I was first known as ‘Shirley’s brother.’ I played the cello in the orchestra – there were only two of us but Patty was top-drawer – Junior symphony, the whole bit; I didn’t stand a chance for first chair, even if had practiced more! (I’ll have you know I did play first chair my senior year, however – because she decided not to play that year!). When I went to Central College in Pella, Iowa my roommate was from a family with a long history at the college. I was often known as ‘Paul’s roommate.’ When I went to Western Seminary the pastor of my home church taught some seminary classes – I was first known as ‘from John Tien’s church.’ When I began ministry as an associate pastor I was known as ‘Jack’s associate.’ My father was a judge in Kalamazoo County, so when I returned to my home town of Kalamazoo to serve Trinity Reformed, I was often referred to as “Judge Pikkaart’s son.” And so it goes.

Most of you have similar experiences you could share. And being second fiddle all the time IT’S EASY TO GET A COMPLEX, to feel less important, to stop trying so hard. After all, to amount to anything we’re supposed to be #1, aren’t we? Let’s face it - how long are the 2nd place finishers, the runners-up remembered? “Who lost to so-and-so in the finals of such-and-such a year?” becomes a trivia question.

If you’ve ever been there, take heart – the Bible has not forgotten us! Consider the second fiddle of THE DISCIPLES, ANDREW. He was equal in rank to the 11 other disciples. Yet the best known fact about him is that he was Simon Peter’s brother. Even if he’s doing something distinctive or outstanding, the Gospel writers introduce him as Simon Peter’s brother. The Bible dictionaries and commentaries say very little about him. Luke never mentions his name. Brother Peter, who denied knowing Jesus, is even mentioned first in the list of the disciples. Peter, James, and John were invited to the Transfiguration – not Andrew. Peter, James, and John were invited to the inner circle when Jesus prayed in Gethsemane – not Andrew. When Jesus went to raise the ruler Jairus’ daughter from death he took – you guessed it – Peter, James, and John – not Andrew. I wonder if Andrew ever thought, “What’s a guy have to do to get some recognition around here?” I don’t know if Andrew ever thought it, but I know many Christians who have. Some have even left churches because of it.


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