Andrew the Apostle - Strong in Faith
(loosely based on the life of Andrew)
“Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men”
He couldn’t explain why the change in his thinking or why he was so drawn a zealot named John,
but he knew he was. Maybe it was time to have faith in something bigger than his mundane existence as a
fisherman. His village of Bethsaida located on the north side of the Sea of Galilee wasn’t exactly conducive
to a lifestyle of glamour or excitement and he felt there had to be something more fulfilling, more rewarding.
There was this John, this naturist who preached about the imminent coming of a messiah, rather, “The
Messiah.” John’s very manner was strangely persuasive and Andrew could somehow sense the presence of
God every time he went out to desert to hear him preach. John became known as “John the Baptist”
because he continually baptized people, often simultaneously while he was preaching about God’s kingdom.
People didn’t seem to object to John’s unkempt appearance because he was such a great preacher, and for
some things you were better off if you just looked the other way.
Since his father Jona had passed, Andrew’s mother had raised him and his four siblings on her own, and with
Andrew being the oldest it was his responsibility to be the man of the family. His brother Simon was a year
younger and had become a skilled fisherman as well, and between them they had been the breadwinners
since their teenage years. Now with the sisters married and out of the house
it was all around easier on Andrew and Simon who remained at home and cared for their mother until Simon
found a wife. He then asked Andrew and their mother to live with him and his wife in their new home. With
their being very successful in the fishing business they were blessed with grand and spacious lodgings, the
envy of many. As brothers the two were close and were financially set for life.
Every day after their work was done Andrew couldn’t wait to go to hear John the Baptist preach. Sometimes
he ran all the way out to the badlands where there was a desert lake where John could always be found.
From a distance he could usually hear him before he could see him. He wasn’t as burly as Simon but he held
his own as a capable fisherman. He always said he “knew the ropes”
and wondered if one day that expression might catch on. All in all, this newly formed daily routine
was giving his life meaning.
Andrew was always the inquisitive one. Their business partners, James and John, called Andrew analytical
while labeling his younger brother Simon with less flattering descriptions equating to a camel in a pottery
shuk. One day Simon, who would in the future be called Peter by Jesus' designation, went with Andrew to
see John the Baptist do his thing. Wouldn’t you know it - that was the day John baptized the man Jesus who
had wandered in from the high desert. More like staggered. He wasn’t much to look at after nearly starving
himself to death for 40 days out there in the badlands. Who would do that? But John baptized him and
loudly proclaimed him as The Messiah. There was no mistaking the intent. And Peter could already see that
John knew exactly what he was doing, so to his surprise he became convinced of the authenticity of the
proclamation along with his brother Andrew.
The clincher was the dove. A perfect beautiful white dove came straight down out of the heavens.
It didn’t just happen to be flying by and decide to alight on the man being baptized. It was a lot more. Neither
Andrew nor Peter was particularly familiar with the Spirit of God - no one was - but if ever there was
something supernatural going on, this was it. It would be some time later when the brothers would rightfully
conclude that the Holy Spirit, generally considered formless in nature, was very capable of taking on form if
and when He pleased, for they had witnessed this with their own eyes. Everyone standing along the banks,
sitting on the rocks, or squatting on the sand knew very well that this dove was no ordinary bird. God made it
very clear that the Holy Spirit had entered the body of this man named Jesus. If nothing else, the expression
on John’s face confirmed it.
But then, above all, it was the voice! It was loud and precise and clear, and everyone heard it.
There was Jesus standing in the lake dripping wet after having been immersed in the water and the whiter-
than-white dove was landing - no, not exactly landing - more like merging with Jesus’ very being - while at the
same time there was this voice proclaiming “this is My Son in whom I am well pleased.” Wow. Talk about
impressive. Even the foreigners in the crowd who were only there out of curiosity heard and understood it in
their own tongues. If ever there was a spellbinding moment this was it.
No one moved a muscle or whispered a sound for a full minute. And, inconsistent with his normal behavior,
the awestruck John the Baptist stood silently, worshipfully, head bowed.
It was some time later when the next encounter with Jesus took place. Months actually. No two men could
have been more discouraged than Andrew and Peter when John the Baptist had been arrested and taken
him from them. The establishment never got it right - arrest now and consider the consequences later. The
voice of hope and reason crying out in the wilderness abruptly silenced. Confused and discouraged, the
brothers returned to their fishing business burying themselves in their work trying to overcome their
They had moved to Capernaum and got on with their lives and hardly recognized Jesus as the same guy
when He came by the shore of the Sea of Galilee and talked with them. He said they could be “fishers of
men,” whatever that meant, and Andrew was the first to respond. Jesus had put on some weight, thankfully,
and cleaned up pretty good, and Andrew had no problem following a man who was a year younger than he.
There was something in His eyes, something supernatural and divine, something wise and unexplainable.
Maybe it was just simply the way He spoke with authority. Whatever it was it drew the brothers in more
powerfully than John the Baptist ever did. And John had been compelling to say the least. No wonder John
had just stood there in awe staring at Jesus. He wasn’t kidding when he said there would be One greater
than he, and it had just been confirmed big time. Nothing fancy, just standing in the presence of the Son of
God will do it every time.
History has recorded that Andrew was with Jesus on more important occasions than any of the other
disciples. Observant, Andrew identified the young boy among the huge gathering who had a single-family
meal of two bread loaves and a few fish. He was one of the four apostles with Jesus on the Mount of Olives.
His inquisitive nature caused him to be the one asking about the signs of the end times. After Jesus died and
rose again, Andrew went on to become a great preacher and was responsible for hundreds of converts to
Christianity. He suffered a horrendous death tied to an
X shaped cross which took two torturous days before he laboriously took his last breath, dying as an
obedient and faithful servant of the living Savior.
Who was Jesus to Andrew? Companion, friend, inspiration, Savior. Andrew lived life to its fullest. “Come,
follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” It’s still compelling.