And Who?

I’ve got to be honest, if I had to pick just one of the twelve disciples to be friends with, it would probably be Peter. No offense, but I don’t think it would be John. Don’t get me wrong, he’s awesome, I’m just not sure how long I could take the whole “I’m the disciple whom Jesus loves” thing. Seriously, who says that about themselves? Pretty sure he did. Anyway, I’m gonna stick with Peter. He’s a bit of an inconsistent mess, but at least he’s not trying to hide it. I’m a New Yorker, so I can deal with “Keepin’ it real…I am who I am…mess with my dude and you’ll lose an ear” type of people.

Yesterday, I sat down to study for a couple of hours and ended up looking at the calling of Peter. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed this, but if you don’t study it carefully, it would appear that Marks account & Johns account are wildly different. Many have even used the apparent “discrepancies” in Mark 1 & John 1 to say that the Bible contradicts itself and is therefore invalid and not worth anything. The problem with that theory is that Mark & John’s stories sound completely different because THEY ARE. In fact, if you look at the chronology, they aren’t even telling the same story at all.

In Mark 1, we see Jesus walking beside the Sea of Galilee. In John 1, Jesus is on the other side of the Jordan River. In Mark, Jesus finds Peter & Andrew. In John, it’s an entirely different story…A story that I now love! In one account, Jesus is finding. In the other, He is being found. In one story, He is asking to make them “fishers of men”. But, what happens in the other narrative? I’d love to tell you.

Long story short, John the Baptist is spending time with two men that he is discipling, because, well… that’s what discipleship is-actually doing life with people and pointing them to Jesus . Anyway, he has two of his disciples with him and all of the sudden, here comes Jesus. John tells the two guys, Look! It’s him! The Lamb of God I’ve been telling you about! The two guys follow Jesus and graciously, Jesus spends the entire day with them. Interestingly, only one of these two lucky men are named. You want to know who? I’d love to tell you that too.

His name is Andrew. You may have heard of him. Usually, his name comes in the context of “Peter and Andrew”. Which, ironically, sounds a lot like “And-who?” Ahhhh…Andrew. My new favorite, Peter’s brother. There are no spectacular miracles or famous stories attributed specifically to him. He’s not walking on water, cutting off ears, preaching on Pentecost or writing Epistles. Nobody’s falling over when hit by his shadow. He’s not one of the three elite and Jesus isn’t calling him “The Rock”. And who? Andrew. He’s spending the whole day with Jesus. But, it gets better. What’s better than being with Jesus? Nothing really, except maybe one thing…your response to being with Jesus. Here is Andrews response:

The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah”. And he brought him to Jesus. John 1:41-42

You see, this isn’t the account of Peter’s calling to be a “fisher of men”. In this account, Peter is the fish and his brother is the fisher…bringing him to Jesus. This isn’t the story of Peter’s call, it’s the story of his conversion. Brought to Jesus by his brother. And who? Andrew. The reason we know about Peter, is because the guy who we barely know anything about, brought him to Jesus. Before tweeting about it or posting an Instagram selfie with Jesus, the Bible says the FIRST thing he did after leaving Jesus’ presence was to bring Peter to him. It was his priority.

In the church, we seem to do a good job of preaching about the “super stars” in the Bible, but we often do a really bad job of preaching about the ordinary people whom God used to build his Kingdom. We do what Jesus wouldn’t; we focus on the prominent and overlook the faithful. Most of the time in scripture, Andrew is just a name on a list. But, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t detrimental to the Kingdom. He wasn’t just a disciple, he was an apostle, handpicked, called and sent out by Jesus himself to preach the Gospel, given authority to drive out evil spirits and heal every sickness and disease. You think Jesus didn’t value him? He trusted him with everything!

In modern day terms, Peter was the guy with the fastest growing church (Hello, Pentecost) and Andrew was the preacher who never got to speak at the big conferences. Peter was “successful” in ministry & Andrew never “made it”. In the Kingdom of God, everybody wants to sign up to be Peter when what we desperately need is more Andrews. More “And-who’s?” People who don’t need to be in the spotlight, they don’t even need to be known. People who have simply been with Jesus and their response is to bring other people to him. Andrew loved to bring people to Jesus. In fact, when Jesus is standing before 5,000 hungry men and the other disciples are panicking, it is Andrew who brings a little boy to Jesus with a few loaves and fish. He wasn’t sure what could be done with so little, but he knew that every time you bring someone to Jesus, a miracle happens. When your job is to bring people to The Lord, it doesn’t really matter who you are because it’s all about who he is. The goal in ministry is that by the time you get someone to Jesus, they forget about you. Jesus and who? I don’t know, I just saw JESUS.

Peter did many great things, but it began with Andrew. I once heard a preacher say this, “What matters in life is not as much what you do, but rather what you set in motion”. Andrew’s life ended on a cross, martyred for not submitting to idols. We don’t hear much about him anymore, but the story of Peter is still bringing many to Jesus all these years later…in a way, Andrew is still bringing people to Jesus. Every time you bring someone to Jesus, you tip a divine domino, setting something in motion that may outlive you.

You may feel like the part you play in The Kingdom is so small and insignificant. I pray that today, as this truth passes your eyes and finds it’s way into your heart, God is now shutting the mouth of the enemy. The truth is, you are valued in the Kingdom of God. We need people who have simply been with Jesus and love to bring other people to Him. You must know that what you do in obscurity is seen by all of Heaven. Remember, you are living to hear “Well done good and faithful”, NOT “good and famous”. Worry not, Andrew. Peter is the more celebrated on Earth, but Heaven knows better. And now, so do you.

But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then. -Jesus

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~ by oraia on February 25, 2014.

4 Responses to “And Who?”

  1. Thanks for sharing. This was a great eye-opener. Tons of Blessings!

  2. I’ve read your past 2 blogs this month and they just hit home. First time was seeing you at Remix and one of the most intense and God-filled services I have EVER been in. Love your transparency and openness when writing. I really hope you continue these blogs more frequently. So much more I can ramble on about but I will stop here. God Bless you Oraia! Lots of love

  3. Love this. Very timely as well. Thank you.

  4. THANK YOU! So glad you began to blog again. Theses posts are speaking to me. It is always good to be reminded of what really matters. Thanks for sharing your life. Hope to see you soon.

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