Chinnor Community Church, High Street, Chinnor, OX39 4DH

The Twelve Disciples in 12 Months

These are the names of the twelve disciples: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. (Plus his replacement Matthias)

Andrew, a disciple of Jesus and the brother of Peter

In Matthew’s Gospel, Simon Peter is the first disciple called but in John’s Gospel it is Andrew who is called first and then he brought his brother Peter to Jesus. It appears that there were two disciples who were followers of John the Baptist and John the Baptist spotted Jesus on walk about. The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When Jesus passed by, John the Baptist was heard to remark, “Look, the Lamb of God!” This caused the two followers of John to leave him and follow Jesus.

Jesus must have sensed that he was being followed for he turned around and confronted the two, wanting to know what they wanted. This meeting resulted in the two spending the day with Jesus. Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two. The first thing Andrew did was then to find his brother Simon (Peter) and tell him, that they had found the Messiah. Andrew then took his brother to Jesus. The summons to become disciples of Jesus occurred at a later date. Andrew and his brother were both from the town of Bethsaida, in Galilee.

Andrew had a positive outlook in life, unlike some of the other disciples such as Phillip. There was a time when Jesus saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”

Philip responded with the following statement, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Andrew, on the other hand, spoke up and said, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish.” It was only a small amount of food, that the small boy had but Andrew thought it worthwhile to bring it to the Masters attention.

As we now know, it was just the information that Jesus was seeking. It was from this information that Jesus was able to feed the thousands that were present that day.

Phillip seemed to have a good relationship with Andrew, for when some Greeks made a request of Phillip to see Jesus, Philip did not go and tell Jesus of the request, but rather, he went and told Andrew. It was most probably Andrew who made the decision for them both to then go and approach Jesus with the request that the Greeks made.

Was Andrew the first home missionary? See John 1:41 Was Andrew the first foreign missionary? See John 12:22

It is thought that Andrew was crucified on a diagonal cross “X” rather than the traditional cross and as every Scotsman reading this knows, Saint Andrew’s Day is November 30th. The Scottish flag is a white Saint Andrew’s crux decussata (a white diagonal cross) on a blue background. As to why the Scots have St. Andrew as their patron saint is beyond me. Perhaps a Scot could write to Connect and pass on any relevant information that they may have about the matter. Perhaps Andrew played golf!

Andrew and Phillip both had a different approach to Jesus in the above. Phillip appeared not to want to approach Jesus first and Andrew not only spoke to Jesus, but he spoke about what should have been an impossible task. The negativity and positivity of these two disciples only help us to understand ourselves. Are we negative or positive about situations? Do we bother to communicate with God about situations or do we consult with other people? Are we timid about approaching God or bold? It matters not what we think or what others think for the scriptures say that we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12

The reason we can approach God is because of Jesus. One of the most positive portions of scripture to reveal this to us is found in Hebrews where it says, ‘Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin. “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16

Peter Brown

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