Matthew 10:1-4 – These Guys Changed The World? Part 4 (Andrew)

Posted: November 21, 2015 in Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 10:1-4
These Guys Changed The World? Part 4 (Andrew)

Siblings. Most of us have them. Sometimes, it rough having a big brother or big sister when you are the youngest. I had my own trials and tribulations with my older and only other sibling. I can see it in my own children, my two daughters, Meghan and Taylor. Meghan is the eldest. Taylor is the youngest. Meghan is five and half years older than Taylor. Although these girls love each other to the nth degree, they have their rivalries. Because Meghan was the oldest, she had already done a lot of things when it came time for Taylor to do them. When Taylor moved up to middle school, Meghan had already been there and done that. So, Taylor often had teacher’s say to her, “Oh, you are Meghan’s little sister.” Younger siblings, such as myself and Taylor, have to live in the shadow of their older siblings having blazed that trail already. In a lot of cases, growing up, I would get that, “Oh, you are Ralph’s little brother.” Younger siblings have to work hard to create their own identity. It is maybe the reason that younger siblings are the ones who are the comedic clowns of their families just so that they can have their own identity. Although my girls don’t struggle with this (each have their own leadership skills), there are some families where the older sibling is like this super leader and everyone follows them and that younger sibling seems to get left in the dust. The younger sibling struggles to live up to the wild popularity and leadership abilities. There are families where the younger sibling is held up to measure against this wonderful older sibling. Why can’t you be more like your older brother or your older sister? These things can cause family strife. Today, we look at the younger brother of Peter. How would you like to have had that job – being the younger brother of Peter – one of the two most influential leaders of the Christian faith along with Paul?

The Apostle Andrew abandoned John the Baptist to become the first follower of Jesus of Nazareth, but John didn’t mind. He knew his mission was to point people to the Messiah. Like many of us, Andrew lived in the shadow of his more famous sibling, Simon Peter. Andrew led Peter to Christ, then stepped into the background as his boisterous brother became a leader among the apostles and in the early church. The Gospels don’t tell us a great deal about Andrew, but we can read between the lines and find a person who thirsted for truth and found it in the living water of Jesus Christ. There are several things that we can learn from Andrew. First, we can learn that we can lead others to Christ and have great impact though we might not become famous for it. Second, in Andrew we see that our relationship with God has to be the most important thing in our lives. Finally, in Andrew, he displays a constant hunger for more in His relationship with God. He was never satisfied with sitting still. Even though he may have lived in the shadow of his more charismatic brother, Andrew points us toward that we should always be hungry for a greater closeness with God.

The first thing that you will notice about Andrew. He was the first disciple of Jesus Christ. John the Baptist pushed him toward Jesus. He basically told Andrew that Jesus is the guy you have been looking for, not me. Now, go follow Him. So, in Andrew, we see a man that was already a deeply spiritual man. He sought after God. He was not content to just exist in the fishing trade in the family business. He wanted to learn more about God. He became a disciple of John the Baptist. I assume that he found His salvation in God while being a disciple of John the Baptist. After being sent forth to follow Jesus and spending the day with Him, Andrew quickly found his brother Simon (later called Peter) and told him “We have found the Messiah.” (John 1:41, NIV) He brought Simon to meet Jesus. And…the rest is history. Andrew led his big brother to Christ and it was Peter that later proclaimed Jesus to be the Son of God, the Messiah. Although failing Jesus during his trial and crucifixion (like most of the disciples), Peter went on to become an amazing preacher and an amazing leader in the early church. What if Andrew had not introduced Peter to Jesus? Man, the church would have been sorely lacking in passion and willingness to do what it took to spread the gospel. Andrew led his big brother to Christ, then, he kind of sinks into the background. I think there is a lesion here for us. When we lead people to Christ, we may be leading the next Peter to Christ. We may be leading the next Billy Graham to Christ. We may be leading the next amazing man of God to Christ. They may well outstrip us in their abilities and their influence in the kingdom here on earth. But what if…What if we did not share the gospel with them? They may not find Christ if it were not for our influence. Let us not be jealous of the amazing transformation that comes to someone else that we have led to the cross. Let us celebrate that they found Christ. Let us continue to work in the trenches and share the gospel with whomever we meet, because you just never know. That next person we share the gospel with could be the next David Platt (the amazing leader of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Church and wonderful preacher and amazing author). They could be the next great leader of the Christian faith. We share the gospel. We influence others with our Christian walk. We show them the way to the cross, to Jesus Christ. For me, those people were Virgil and Debbie Whitted. Their influence on my life led me to the cross. Maybe, if it were not for them sharing the gospel in real and practical ways, I never meet Jesus Christ or at least the meeting may have been delayed. If it were not for this precious couple and their love of Jesus Christ, I would not be sitting here right now writing this blog. I would not be where I am in my walk with Christ where I am right now. Are Virgil and Debbie Whitted famous? No, they are not but that’s not the point to them. It is sharing the gospel. It is leading others to the cross. I think of many others that quietly do the work of the kingdom like Bill Cashion, one of my favorite professors from seminary and the father of my senior pastor’s wife. He has spent most of his life as a missionary to South America and as a local Southern Baptist preacher. What an amazing man of God he is! Countless thousands have come to the cross because of his faithfulness. I think of my dad, a man who spent his entire career shepherding small flocks of Christ followers in rural United Methodist churches in South Carolina tirelessly. I am certain there are many men and women walking around the state of South Carolina and other places that my dad pointed to the cross. I think of my wife, Elena, who came to Christ just six years ago but through her compassion and love has influenced many in our church and maybe just maybe caused someone to think about the cross. Are these people famous? No, they are not. But they are tireless workers in God’s kingdom. When we concentrate on giving God glory for everything, we do His work and whether we reach any fame as a result of it is entirely secondary. That’s one thing we learn from Andrew.

The next thing that we learn from Andrew is that our relationship with God has to be the most important thing in our lives. Andrew was part of a family business. The sons of Jonah were fisherman. It was the family business. However, Andrew sought after God. He made his relationship with God more important than anything. He was a follower of John the Baptist because his message of repentance resonated with Him. He learned much about a right relationship with God from John the Baptist, I would be willing to bet. After being sent forth to Jesus, Andrew spent the whole day with Him. When he gets back to the shore where his brother, Peter, is, what is the first thing he says, “I have found the Messiah!” Not, how’s the fishing today, but rather I have found the Messiah. Here lately, there is this program floating around on Facebook that searches all your posts and then comes back with the most frequent words that you have used on Facebook. That’s when you see what it is important to us. The most important thing to Andrew was not the mundane day-to-day stuff, it was that he had met the Messiah. How are you and I about prioritizing Jesus in our lives? Is he the most important thing? Is it God, family, church? Where does God and church land in your life? Is God and church somewhere after Monday Night Football in the list of priorities? There is an old saying in Christian circles that says, “Show me your checkbook and I will show you what you worship?” Is it your job? Is it your entertainment? Is it your church? How’s the fishing or I have found the Messiah? Andrew teaches us about the priorities that we should have in life – I have found the Messiah!

The final thing that I think we learn from Andrew is the hunger that he has for knowing God. He was so hungry for a real deep relationship with God that he became a disciple of John the Baptist. He went out of his way to do that. He went from Bethsaida to where John was at. He followed him. He learned from him. I bet there were many nights of sitting around the campfire with John the Baptist discussing what is our relationship with God supposed to be like. When John the Baptist said for him to go follow Jesus, John must have known how hungry Andrew was. We find our answers in Jesus Christ. Andrew followed Christ because he knew that He was the Messiah and he wanted to know more. He wanted to grow deeper and deeper in his relationship with Jesus. It was Andrew that recognizes the power of Jesus. So much so, he was the one who brought the little boy with the loaves and fishes to Jesus (John 6:8-13). His thirst for knowledge of God made him recognize the power and nature of Jesus Christ. So many of us sit in church on Sunday and think that is our relationship with God. Our Bibles sit on the shelf gathering dust. We do not have time for small group. We are satisfied with being spiritual babies. What we learn from Andrew is that we can never sit still. We must keep progressing in our relationship with God. We need to go deeper. In prayer. In Bible study. In meditation on God’s Word. In fellowship with other believers. In being mentored and challenged by more mature believers. In service to the kingdom. In sharing our testimony with others. In sharing the gospel.

From Andrew, we learn that we must tireless even if we do not make a name for ourselves. We work for an audience of one not for our fellow man. We must do the work of the kingdom for the glory of God not for man. We must make the giving of glory to God the most important thing in our lives. That’s the priority. That’s the hunger that should drive us each one every day.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s