February 2018 - Pastor's Corner

   

One of the two who heard John the Baptist point them all to Jesus, and then followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah … the Anointed One of God! John 1:40-41

We continue our 2018 newsletter series about Jesus’ twelve closest disciples by looking at another fisherman, Andrew, the brother of the head disciple, Simon Peter. In the Bible, Andrew lived in his brother’s shadow, so to speak. Yet, he was an important member of Jesus’ most inner circle, made up of the four fishermen disciples (two sets of brothers): Peter and Andrew, James and John. [See Mark 13-3-4.] Our Lord seemed to have an affinity for those who like to fish!

 

Most of what we know about Andrew, from the Bible, comes from the Gospel of John. Where Andrew plays the role of a pointer … one who directs people to Jesus. We see that in the verse from John chapter one, above, where Andrew introduces his brother to Jesus. We see Andrew in a similar role in John 6:7-9, where he introduces the boy with the five barley loaves and two fish to Jesus, at the Feeding of the 5000. And again, in John 12:20-22, where Andrew helps some pagan “Greeks” link-up with Jesus just prior to his crucifixion. Like any true fisherman St. Andrew was good at “reeling them in” … bringing others to our Lord and Savior.

 

For this reason, in Eastern Orthodox tradition, Andrew is known as the first true Apostle (“one who tells”) because he had been first a disciple of John the Baptist. But then, when the Baptizer pointed Jesus out to him … he left John, told his brother Simon (Peter) about the Lord, and then they both became disciples of the “Lamb of God” … Jesus of Galilee. [See John 1:35-42.]

 

The name, “Andrew” literally means “manly” and he was regarded very much as a “common man” … stalwart and true to his word. Early Christian tradition holds that St. Andrew went on to preach and teach in what is now Turkey and Greece, and was martyred on an X shaped cross in the Greek city of Patras, because he did not feel worthy to be crucified in the same way as our Lord. Andrew is considered the patron saint of fishermen and singers, and of a number of countries and cities, like Scotland, Russia, and Patras.

 

An Andrew Prayer for Today: Lord Jesus, help me point others to you, by your Holy Spirit working in and through me. Help me bring others into your church by simply telling them about you, and by the common decency and honesty of my life. Amen!

                                                                                                                   Pastor John

February 20, 2018

 

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