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The Andrew Principles

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Lesser men of faith, Andrew:

The Andrew Principles

Some folks labour under the problem of always being associated with a relative. I remember as a teacher, falling into the trap of saying when meeting a younger sibling of a child I had already taught: “Oh, you’re so-and-so’s brother or sister” it isn’t well received. We want to be known as ourselves.

Andrew is one of the apostles about whom not a lot is known – and he is almost always referred to as “Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother”. 

These readings actually describe what we know of Andrew from the Gospels.

John 1       Andrew meets Jesus and brings his brother to Him

Mark 1      A year later Jesus calls  Simon, Andrew, James and John

John 6       The five thousand are fed. Andrew finds the loaves and fish

Not all of us can be great and famous.  The Old Testament story about Elijah and Obadiah makes the same point.  But we can all be used by the Lord if we follow Him in faith and obedience.

Drawing on the passages in John and Mark I want to leave with you some PRINCIPLES

First of all, in John 1 we have:

The Andrew Priority

40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.                                                 John 1

The FIRST THING…

1.  “find his brother Simon and tell him…”

It begins with family in Andrew’s case – but it could as easily have been neighbours.

The first mark of DOING for GOD is SHARING THE WORD

2.  “We have found the Christ…”

No matter what ties of family or work or whatever – the message is ALL ABOUT JESUS

Andrew’s words convey all the hope of Israel at the time.   THE MESSIAH. Jesus is still the hope of every nation.

When He has been introduced then the third stage is reached:

3.  “He brought him to Jesus”

Personal evangelism is encapsulated in this threefold mission of a man who has only just met Jesus for himself.

When Simon meets Jesus – then the LORD takes over – and recognises in Peter that unique quality of rock-ness.

To us is given the Andrew priority of sharing the news about Christ

The involvement of those who are close to us

And then the BRINGING – accompanying – into the presence of Jesus

The LORD will take over.      And that is what He does later…..

The Andrew Challenge

16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.

                                                                                        Mark 1

This work of Jesus extends the simple relationship forged between the brothers Simon and Andrew with Jesus into a CHALLENGE.

he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.

 

o   Notice the CHANGE,

o   THE CHALLENGE and

o   the RESPONSE

 

The CHANGE :   “they were fishermen….I will make you fishers of men”

Jesus promises to take the material and the labour and the focus of their lives and redirect it.

He meets them in the workplace – so sanctifying the place of work as a place where Jesus is busy.

He offers them a manner of life related to their own – but lifting it to an unexpected dimension

FISHERS OF MEN

There are a very few people whom the LORD calls away from their gifting and their manner of livelihood.  Many more SERVE HIM IN A NEW WAY WITH THE FAMILIAR TOOLS they already have.

Remember the Parson in “Jayne Eyre” who misses out on so much because he cannot accept a missionary work at home.   Only a story of course – but the point is made. (No doubt as a parson’s daughter Emily Bronte drew on experience?)

Secondly the CHALLENGE  

 

“Come, follow me…”

This sets the marker for service – an invitation and a command.

What had before been a steady relationship now has a clear focus.

The CALLING impinges not only on their attitude to Jesus – but their attitude TO WHAT THEY WILL DO!

It includes the clear promise that Jesus will

Make the necessary changes.

“I will make you fishers of men”

This is the RESPONSE:      

 

At once….

Later will come the training and the commissioning.

The narrative tends to suggest that from that point on they never fished for fish again.  I don’t think that is the necessary conclusion – what HAD CHANGED was the FOCUS OF THEIR LIFE’S ACTIVITY

One day – when the training is ended and the Spirit has come they may well look back and say, like Obadiah, “I did….”  But now I DO!

Part of that TRAINING is shared with us in the final cameo of Andrew’s life as shown by the Gospels:

The Andrew method

5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming towards him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

7 Philip answered him, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”                                                                             JOHN 6

Along with the others, Andrew is involved in the continuing public ministry of Jesus – but in John 6 we hear no word from Simon Peter, but a significant word from brother ANDREW!

The ANDREW METHOD is to interpret the general command (as recorded in the other Gospels “you give them something to eat”)

NOT with the sceptical arithmetic of PHILIP

BUT WITH AN EYE FOR ANY RESOURCES

 

 

o   He saw

 

o   He assessed

 

o   He acted

His recognition of the BOY’S LUNCH was astute and accurate

His doubt that it can do anything much is realistic

But the fact that he POINTED IT OUT suggests a growing faith!!

The Andrew method

  surveys the situation –

  assesses the resources –

  and raises a question for Jesus to answer.

So there you have it :    

The Andrew Priority                            find… tell… bring                 

 

The Andrew Challenge                         Come follow me

 

&

 

The Andrew Method                             Here is …

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