Operation Andrew is the name of a program which is a significant part of preparation for the Franklin Graham Festival coming in October 2006. This morning, as you have heard, we will launch this program and invite widespread participation. In order to encourage participation, I would like to spend a few minutes explaining why the title “Operation Andrew” is used.
The name “Operation Andrew” fits well with what this operation is trying to accomplish. It refers to the disciple of Jesus whose name was Andrew.
If you look in the gospel of John, you will discover that the name of Andrew is mentioned 5 times in the gospel of John. In four of the five mentions, Andrew was bringing someone to Jesus.
II. He Brought Peter
The first time Andrew is mentioned, is in John 1:40. It seems that he was one of the disciples of John the Baptist and when John saw Jesus, he had said to two of his disciples, “Look, the Lamb of God!” With this comment, those two disciples began to follow Jesus. One of those two disciples was Andrew.
Very quickly after Andrew followed Jesus, we read that he went to find his brother and told him, “We have found the Messiah.” The story indicates that Andrew brought Peter to meet Jesus and immediately, Jesus indicated that there was something special about Peter.
In the whole story of the gospel, Andrew is seldom mentioned. He is certainly not the great spiritual leader that his brother became, but he was the one who brought him to Jesus. What would have happened if Andrew had not brought him to Jesus? We should be encouraged to participate in Operation Andrew because we never know what will happen to the people we bring to Jesus.
III. He Brought the Boy With The Lunch
The second story in which we meet Andrew bringing someone to Jesus was on the day in which Jesus was teaching the people and they became hungry. The story is found in John 6:8. Jesus and the disciples realized that it would be up to them to feed all these people. As Jesus mentions this, Philip states the obvious – “there is no way we have the resources to do that.”
Once again Andrew brings someone to Jesus. It was Andrew who brought the boy with the five loaves and two fishes. He himself questioned the value of this small act recognizing that there was not enough to help so many people. But one wonders, why, if he knew that there was not really enough to help, did he bring him to Jesus? Is it possible that Andrew knew that when you bring people to Jesus, things happen? Is it possible that he knew that the physical resources were not sufficient, yet that Jesus could make things happen that reached beyond the obvious, physical resources.
As we volunteer to participate in Operation Andrew, we, like Andrew, will commit ourselves to bringing people to the Festival so that they can meet Jesus. As we bring them, we understand that it is not our efforts nor even the efforts of Franklin Graham that are adequate to change lives and make a difference. It is clear that it is Jesus who makes a difference, but it is up to us to bring people to Jesus so that He can make a difference in their lives.
Jesus took these small resources, these 5 loaves and two fish and did a miracle. It is not up to us to do the miracle, but it is up to us to bring people to Jesus.
IV.He Brought Some Greeks
The third story takes place in John 12:20-22. At this point, he was with Philip. It was just after the triumphal entry. For some reason, Philip, another of the disciples, met some Greeks. It seems most likely that they were god-fearers, that is, Gentile people who had an interest in the morality and access to God which they saw the Jews had.
For some reason, Philip didn’t know what to do so he went to talk to Andrew about it. Andrew knew what to do immediately. He told Jesus. Once again we see that he wanted to bring them to Jesus. The story does not end as we suspect, but the point we are taking note of remains. Philip was hesitant, but Andrew was one who was quick to bring people to Jesus. Let us follow his example.
As we are going to invite you to participate in Operation Andrew, we are not asking you to be a world renowned evangelist. We are not asking that you know all the answers to all the Biblical problems a seeker might ask. We are encouraging that each person here be an Andrew. Be open to letting God work in you to reveal to you those whom He wants you to bring to Jesus. Furthermore, pray for those people and in the context of friendship, be ready to be a person who brings someone to Jesus.