The First Disciple


Above the Chancel

St Andrews, Nuthurst

John initially makes an oblique reference to Andrew as one of two disciples following John the Baptist. Later in the passage he is positively identified as Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, … one of the two who heard (John 1:35-42). The Baptist points Jesus out to Andrew and John, describing Him as the Lamb of God.

Andrew and John decide to follow Jesus as soon as they hear this. Jesus is aware of their presence and turns to speak to them asking, “What to you want?” They greet him as a Rabbi, or teacher, and are invited to go with Jesus to where he is staying.

After spending the day with Jesus, Andrew’s first thought is for his brother who he goes to tell “We have found the Messiah.” Andrew had traveled one hundred miles from Bethsaida to Bethany to follow the Baptist and it is clear that he now has no doubts about finding the Christ that he has been searching for. As the first disciple, he brings his brother to Jesus, showing us that he greatly wishes to share the news.

Subsequently, Andrew takes a back seat to his brother but remains one of Jesus’ closest disciples. Read more about this in my next blog.

Andrew’s next significant activity is in the well known story about the loaves & fish. When Jesus asks another disciple how to feed the great multitude, Andrew brings the boy with the food but does not know “what are these among so many?” (John 6:35-42). Jesus already has the answer.

As people gathered for the Passover Festival, some Greeks (who were Gentiles) had come to see Jesus. Andrew and another disciple spoke about them and went to see Him. Jesus again knew that, “the time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” He explained to them that “If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” (John 6:35-42).

After Jesus’ ascension, Andrew returns to Jerusalem and begins the work that the disciples had been selected to do, starting with prayer and supplication. (Acts 1:12-14). Andrew continued in his mission until his crucifixion in Patras, Greece some thirty years later.

I hope that, on this third walk, as you enjoy a time of reflection (maybe listening to the water babbling in the garden of the Black Horse) you will be looking forward to the next adventure.



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