It's a Wonderful Life

John 1:35-40 - The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” 37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them. They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” 39 “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day. 40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. 41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”. 42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”[n]). N=rock

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND:

A. Peter’s brother, Andrew, is the least known of the four disciples in the inner circle.

  • Andrew ordinarily is left very much in the background.

B. Had Andrew never been born, the New Testament could have changed significantly.

  • Peter may have never been saved. Someone else would have preached the famous Pentecost sermon.

  • We would have to eliminate two books of the New Testament, 1and 2 Peter.

C. Andrew was the first of all the disciples to be called (John 1:35-40).

  • His eagerness to follow Christ, combined with his zeal for introducing others to Christ, fairly typifies Andrew’s character.

  • History Says he was driven by a hearty passion for the truth, and he was willing to subject himself to the most extreme kinds of hardship.

D. Andrew’s personal encounter with Jesus took place a few months after Jesus’ baptism (John 1:29-34).

  • Andrew and John were standing next to John the Baptist when Jesus walked by, and John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”

I. HE SAW THE VALUE OF INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE.

A. Andrew appreciated the value of a single soul.

  • He was known for bringing individuals, not crowds, to Jesus.

B. Andrew has been referred to as the first home missionary

  • Because of the Jewish people he brought to Jesus.

  • Andrew has also been referred to as the first foreign missionary because of the Greeks he brought to Jesus in John 12:20-22. They talked to Phillip because he had a Greek name too but Andrew brought them.

>>> It’s a wonderful life when you see the value of individual people.

II. HE SAW THE VALUE OF INSIGNIFICANT GIFTS.

A. Some people see the big picture more clearly just because they appreciate the value of small things.

John 6:1-12 - After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. 2 A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. 3 Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. 4 (It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.) 5 Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” 6 He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do. 7 Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money[a] to feed them!” 8 Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. 9 “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?” 10 “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. 12 After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.”

  • In the feeding of the 5,000 story, Philip’s vision was overwhelmed by the size of the need.

  • “There’s a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish —but what are they for so many?” (John 6:8-9, CSB)

  • God doesn’t issue a command without making it possible for you to obey. Andrew knew that.

  • God’s ability to use a gift is in no way hindered or enhanced by the size of that gift.

C. It’s not the greatness of the gift that counts, it’s the greatness of the God to whom it is given — That Counts!

  • The miracle of feeding the 5,000 illustrates the way God works. He takes the sacrificial and often seemingly insignificant gifts of people who give faithfully, and He multiplies them to accomplish monumental things.

III. HE SAW THE VALUE OF INCONSPICUOUS SERVICE.

A. Andrew is the picture of all those who labor quietly in humble places.

Ephesians 6:6 CSB - Don’t work only while being watched, as people-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, do God’s will from your heart

  • He did not mind being hidden as long as the work was being done. He was a leader with a servant’s heart.

  • He worked because he was called.

B. God has told us to make disciples.

>>> It’s a wonder life when you see the value of inconspicuous service

CONCLUSION

Tradition has it that Andrew took the gospel north into Russia, possibly Scotland. He was ultimately crucified in Achaia, which is in southern Greece, near Athens. One account says he led a wife of a provincial Roman governor to Christ and that it infuriated her husband. He demanded that his wife recant her devotion to Jesus Christ, and she refused. So the governor had Andrew crucified. He was lashed to the cross instead of nailed, in order to prolong his suffering. Tradition says it was an X-shaped cross. Most accounts say he hung on the cross for two days, exhorting passersby to turn to Christ for salvation.