I’ve always had a soft spot for people who have famous siblings. If your brother is, say, the President of the United States, how do you live that down? It must be really tough, having people flock around someone you used to have squabbles with on a daily basis. In that spirit, I’d like to nominate for the status of “Unsung Hero” a man named Andrew. He had to face down all the petty jealousy and bitter envy which would've naturally arisen by having Peter (yes, that Peter) as his brother.
We don’t know much about him, but what we do know really appeals to me. I learned in Sunday School at a very early age that every time we see him in Scripture, he’s bringing someone to Jesus. I mean that literally: He introduced A) his brother Peter, B) the child with the loaves and fish, and C) some Greek seekers who wanted to meet his Savior.
But it’s his relationship with his brother that I want to focus on today. Andrew was originally a disciple of John the Baptist, but when the Baptist pointed towards Jesus as the “Lamb of God,” he started following the Man from Nazareth instead. He and another man (probably the author of this Gospel) literally followed Jesus to where he was staying and spent the day with him. This was enough to erase any doubt in his mind that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah they'd been looking for. Once he placed his trust in Christ, he immediately thought of his brother and introduced one to the other.
Why is this so important? Not just because of what Andrew did, but because of what he didn’t do. He’s listed among the Twelve, so apparently he performed miracles in Jesus' name, but after one casual mention in the beginning of Acts (where he's listed along with other apostles), he 's never mentioned again in the Bible. There are some traditions that he preached some sermons, but nothing definite or world-famous. He never made a big name for himself, and he fades into history pretty quietly.
His brother, on the other hand, was a pillar of the church. When Jesus wanted to do something extraordinary but not share it with all of his disciples, he usually took aside Peter along with James and John. Every listing of the apostles in the Gospels has Peter's name first, and he was the natural spokesman for the rest of the Twelve. He made the great confession at Caesarea Philippi, and Jesus singled him out for a special one-on-one appearance after the Resurrection. In Acts chapter 2 he’s once again the spokesman, and proceeds to preach a sermon that led 3000 people to salvation in one day. Only Paul gets more attention in the book of Acts, and only Paul has more miraculous events listed as associated with him. And finally, Peter wrote two books of the Bible, adding to God's inspired word which will be last for all time.
But with all that happened later in his life, all that God did through Peter, he owed to Andrew. This is why I wanted to focus on him for a day. You might not be called to preach sermons that lead 3000 people to Christ at a sitting, but maybe God wants to use you to be an “Andrew” and introduce another “Peter” to Jesus. Are you willing to do the small task, no matter how insignificant it seems? When you are, it might turn out to be more significant than you thought.
Lord Jesus, whatever task you have for me, please prepare me for it. Whether anyone outside of my small circle ever knows my name, or whether I become world-famous as a mighty servant, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m doing this for an audience of One, right?
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