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Lesser men of faith(2) Andrew

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Lesser men of faith: Andrew

The story of Andrew is given in the Gospels:

John 1       Andrew meets Jesus and brings his brother to HIm

Mark 1      A year later Jesus calls  Simon, Andrew, James and John

John 6       The five thousand are fed. Andrew finds the loaves and fish

There is a link with this morning’s address.  Andrew is the lesser man – and Andrew’s lesson shows us what it is we are TO DO.

As you will also see there is a common thread that runs through the three short narratives that tell us Andrew’s story – BRINGING.

The story BEGINS with Jesus and results in the BRINGING OF SIMON PETER: 

The first thing….

This is the Andrew Priority

Tell his brother about Jesus.

If you were here this morning and it occurred to you that the Lord has something for you to DO rather than look back on – then the ANDREW PRIORITY is a good place to begin.

1.   “find his brother Simon and tell him…”

It begins with family in Andrew’s case – but it could as easily have been neighbours.

The first mark of DOING for GOD is SHARING THE WORD

2.   “We have found the Christ…”

No matter what ties of family or work or whatever – the message is ALL ABOUT JESUS

Andrew’s words convey all the hope of Israel at the time.   THE MESSIAH

It is only then that the third stage is reached:

3.   “He brought him to Jesus”

Personal evangelism is encapsulated in this threefold mission of a man who has only just met Jesus for himself.

When Simon meets Jesus – then the LORD takes over – and recognises in Peter that unique quality of rock-ness.

To us is given the Andrew priority of sharing the news about Christ

The involvement of those who are close to us

And then the BRINGING – accompanying – into the presence of Jesus

The LORD will take over.      And that is what He does later…..

After some dramatic changes, Jesus enters Galilee and in the course of His public ministry calls the fishermen to follow him.

This is the Andrew CHALLENGE

This work of Jesus extends the simple relationship forged between the brothers Simon and Andrew with Jesus into a CHALLENGE.

he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.

o       Notice the CHANGE,

o       THE CHALLENGE and

o       the RESPONSE

 

The CHANGE :   “they were fishermen….I will make you fishers of men”

Jesus promises to take the material and the labour and the focus of their lives and redirect it.

He meets them in the workplace – so sanctifying the place of work as a place where Jesus is busy.

He offers them a manner of life related to their own – but lifting it to an unexpected dimension

FISHERS OF MEN

There are a very few people whom the LORD calls away from their gifting and their manner of livelihood.  Many more SERVE HIM IN A NEW WAY WITH THE FAMILIAR TOOLS they already have.

Remember the Parson in “Jayne Eyre” who misses out on so much because he cannot accept a missionary work at home.   Only a story of course – but the point is made. (No doubt as a parson’s daughter Emily Bronte drew on experience?)

Secondly the CHALLENGE  

 

“Come, follow me…”

This sets the marker for service – an invitation and a command.

What had before been a steady relationship now has a clear focus.

The CALLING impinges not only on their attitude to Jesus – but their attitude TO WHAT THEY WILL DO!

It includes the clear promise that Jesus will

Make the necessary changes.

“I will make you fishers of men”

This is the RESPONSE:      

 

At once….

Later will come the training and the commissioning.

The narrative tends to suggest that from that point on they never fished for fish again.

I don’t think that is the necessary conclusion – what HAD CHANGED was the FOCUS OF THEIR LIFE’S ACTIVITY

One day – when the training is ended and the Spirit has come they may well look back and say, like Obadiah, “I did….”  But now I DO!

Part of that TRAINING is shared with us in the final cameo of Andrew’s life as shown by the Gospels:

The Andrew method

Along with the others he is involved in the continuing public ministry of Jesus – but in John 6 we hear no word from Simon Peter, but a significant word from brother ANDREW!

The ANDREW METHOD is to interpret the general command (as recorded in the other Gospels “you give them something to eat

NOT with the sceptical arithmetic of PHILIP

BUT WITH AN EYE FOR ANY RESOURCES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

o       He saw

 

o       He assessed

 

o       He acted

His recognition of the BOY’S LUNCH was astute and accurate

His doubt that it can do anything much is realistic

But the fact that he POINTED IT OUT suggests a growing faith!!

The Andrew method surveys the situation – assesses the resources – and raises a question for Jesus to answer.

So there you have it :    

The Andrew Priority                            find… tell… bring                 

 

The Andrew Challenge                         Come follow me

&

 

The Andrew Method                             Here is …

 

HYMN :  Jesus calls us

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