Summary: Ever have someone say, "God can't use me!"? Well, this series "The People God Uses" proves that God can and will use anyone.
“And it happened in those days that He went out into a mountain to pray, and was all night in prayer to God. And when day had come, He brought His disciples together, and from them selected twelve whom He also named ‘disciples.’” (Luke 6:12-13)
“And having called His twelve disciples, He gave to them authority over unclean spirits, so as to cast them out and heal every kind of disease and every kind of illness. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon the one called Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector, James the son of Alphaeus and Thaddeus, Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him.” (Matthew 10:1-4)
Introduction: How often have you or I picked up some document, such as a Church Bulletin that contains a listing of persons who are being recognized for some reason or another, only to find that one significant person’s name has been inadvertently omitted? Usually that is not a healthy thing to have happen in the life of a community of people.
Nearly every time Andrew is mentioned in Scripture it is in reference to being Simon Peter’s brother. Why? If scholars are correct and the Gospel records were written 25 to 50 years after Jesus ascended into heaven, then they are for remembering as well as for instruction.
Among the 12 disciples there were two sets of full brothers who grew up in the same community. Those inseparable lads were James and John, Peter and Andrew, who together with Philip grew up in Bethsaida. (See Luke 5:10; John 1:44; 12:21)
One day while they were fishing the waters of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus interrupted their vocational plans and said to them:
“Follow Me, and I will make you
to become fishers of men!”
But after following Jesus, something happened to that inseparable foursome. Recall, if you will:
1. The Mount of Transfiguration, when Jesus took Peter, James and John with Him…but Andrew as left behind. (Matthew 17:1) (CHANGE SLIDE)
2. The Healing of Jairus’ Daughter, when Jesus told everyone to leave, but took Peter, James and John with Him…but Andrew as left behind. (Luke 8:51) (CHANGE SLIDE)
Andrew could have said:
“I would like to have seen the Transfiguration…I would like to have witnessed the healing of that little girl…I would like to have sensed the real intensity of His Garden praying.”
But Andrew had no such thoughts. Why? Because though the Apostle Paul had not yet come to the scene of Christian activity, and 1 Corinthians 13 had not yet been written, Andrew understood that magnificent concept of 1 Corinthians 13:4:
“Love does not envy!”
We are well aware that Pentecost had not yet come at this time in Andrew’s life. The followers of Jesus had not experienced the grand baptism of the Holy Spirit and perfecting of love within the hearts of those committed to Jesus. Yet in part, at least, the Holy Spirit includes this biographical sketch of Andrew’s life to instruct us that God does not depend on the so-called SUPER-SAINTS, but rather He works through people who are intentionally willing to obey Him without any anticipation of the accolades of people. God accomplishes the extraordinary through the people who simply obey His call to serve Him wherever He directs.
Let’s look at this biographical sketch of the life of one man in the New Testament willing to obey God without reservation, this non-glory-seeking disciple of Jesus, and find those events in his life that serve to identify him as one ordinary person who did the extraordinary out of love for Jesus, and willing obedience to follow Him without reservation.
1. Andrew’s witness was contagious! (John 1:35-42)
Peter Marshall calls Andrew Mr. Introducer. Andrew appears on the historical and eternal record as one who was always introducing someone to Jesus. And in this passage, Andrew so loved Jesus, that he was used in one of the most difficult places…introducing his own brother, Simon Peter, to the Master of life.
Who among us has heard of Rev. Mordecai Ham, who placed his hand on the shoulder of a gangly North Carolina teenager, and introduced him to Jesus Christ? That teenager? Dr. Billy Graham, who has preached to more people than any other person in the history of the Christian Church.
Andrew’s life was so powerfully contagious that when he said “Come on, Peter, I want you to meet the Messiah…Jesus of Nazareth,” Peter had no question whatever! A contagious spirit!
2. Andrew’s witness was creative! (John 6:8-9)