I love Andrew.
Andrew the brother of Peter. He had excelled in the art of Special Mention.
A Special Mention is a time allocated in the legislatures for bringing up issues which are not covered under any specific Rules of the Legislature concerned. Or so it was designed, but now to impress the voters in a constituency, issues are raised/ advertised etc.
Andrew was the first, of all the twelve disciples, to have met Jesus – that is if you go by the Gospel of John. But to believe that you have to also believe that Jesus was not in touch with his cousins John and James before He was identified as the Messiah. Further, you have to also believe that John and James had not introduced their partners Peter and Andrew. But surmises and suppositions, however probable they might have been from the realm of possibilities, facts are facts when reported. There OUGHT to be a finality to facts, otherwise they turn to myths and long winding epics of dubious history.
John and James might have been childhood and teenage acquaintances of Jesus, assuming that the Cousins’ mothers were close. But, after Jesus assumed Messiahship, it could be safely presumed that Andrew was the first to meet Jesus.
Is the meeting so important? I consider it was – for the reason that he connected his brother Peter to Jesus. John narrates thus in the Gospel:
35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?
39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.
41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
42 And he brought him to Jesus.
So contextually, Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist first, before he identified Messiah, based on the utterances of the Baptist, relating to the superiority of Jesus. As regards John the Baptist, his actions were based on a CALLING, but Jesus’ was not based on anything called Calling, for He had been/was and is the Son of God – not a mere ‘calling’ but a descent of Godhood to dwell with men in the flesh.
It might look so simple to us – because the Kingdom of God had come and we have taken Jesus to be a part of our existence, but for Andrew the CURIOUS SEARCHER, it was a divine discovery.
I can imagine how much Andrew must have venerated his relationship with John the Baptist – a man who was the greatest of men born before the dawning of the Kingdom of God, according to Jesus Himself! But all that counted for nothing when the man whom Andrew venerated says that he wasn’t worthy enough to ‘stoop’ down and unloose His shoe’s latchet’. Andrew discovers the longing of generations of expectation blossoming before him. Andrew jumped out of the boat of the Baptist and went after Jesus. Andrew’s thirst for finding out the Truth is amazing and his ability to go after Jesus leaving aside his master John without any compunction is not any lack of loyalty but an innocent thirst for attaining an association with the Truth. How could he have resisted following the Messiah, when his own master had certified the dawning of the kingdom of God?
Andrew rushes to his bother Peter and informs him of his discovery – not a small event. Most of the prophecies of the latter prophets revolve around that event – the arrival of the Messiah. It must have been a moment much greater than the Eureka moment of Archimedes- he merely was attempting to solve a doubt of a temporal king- but here an intergenerational longing was suddenly unfolding with the assurance of person like John the Baptist. I’d have fainted – had I been in that position. If Elisabeth was excited to see her Lord’s mother how much more, when the Messiah stands there in front of me in life and blood, with the assurance of the greatest man born of a woman?
It is this Andrew who identifies a boy with the loaves and fishes and makes a Special Mention to Jesus with a rider “what is that to so many?”. Jesus honours that, probably because Andrew believed that Jesus could do MUCH with little.
At Luke 11:1 a disciple, whose name is not mentioned asked Jesus, How to pray and adds a sting “Like John taught his disciples”. Who could that disciple have been and who could have qualified to say that? According to John’s Gospel, two of the disciples of John followed Jesus, but there is only evidence to show that out of those two, only one became an Apostle. Who could that have been? My unshakable Faith is that it must have been Andrew.
If Andrew has not asked Jesus for that prayer, possibly we wouldn’t have had the Lord’s Prayer today.
There are unverified a as nd unverifiable narrations regarding Apostle Andrew, but these three events give me certainty of belief that though he might not have been most impetuous in his Faith like his brother Peter, or filled with grace like John, or with the gravity of James, he had made special mentions, the outcomes of which sets his role in great importance.