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Commentary On The Apostle Andrew.

February 19, 2019

cropped-12301412301.jpg“One of the two  which heard John speak, and followed him , was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.”  (John 1:40).

He was a disciple of John the Baptist before his encounter with Jesus of Nazareth. He was a native of the Galilean region in Bethsaida and would later live by the sea at Capernaum in the trade of fisherman. Andrew was the first disciple of John the Baptist chosen by Jesus after His baptism, “And the next day  after John stood, and two of his disciples. And looking upon Jesus as He walked by, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. The Jesus turned, and saw them following , and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto Him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master), where dwelleth thou? He saith unto them, Come, and see. They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day; for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.” (John 1:35-40).

Why was Andrew even there and not at the Sea of Galilee with his brother Peter? What drove this fisherman to seek out the voice crying in the wilderness? All we know for sure about Andrew was that he was with the Baptist when Jesus appeared for His baptism, (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11). Andrew was there at this moment, tradition also states that maybe even the Apostle John, but both men were eye witnesses to the events on the Jordan River as recorded in Scripture, “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad Him, saying, I have need to be baptiszed of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered Him. And Jesus when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and lo, the heavens opened unto Him. and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and it lightening upon Him, And lo a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:13-17). Andrew was there for this historical moment in the interaction between God and His creation. This was God in human flesh standing before His own creation and they missed it. John the Baptist preached and told the people he was simply a voice crying in the wilderness that the Messiah was coming; he stated he was not the Messiah but was sent to prepare the way for His coming and they still missed it. Andrew heard the preaching of the Baptist and followed him until the moment Jesus came and the Baptist made his declaration about Jesus. So why was Andrew there? Was he a Jew simply tired of the ritualistic state of what his faith had become? What did he hope to find when he set out to listen to the Baptist? What was it about the message he heard that appealed to this fisherman? What lead Andrew to seek the Baptist and his message of repentance? Something in the Baptist’s message stirred the young fisherman from Galilee to forsake his brother Peter and the fishing trade. Maybe John’s simple message of repentance appealed to the young fisherman of Galilee. Whatever his motives were he encountered the Baptist and was introduced to Jesus.

“And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. The Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto Him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted , Master,), where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where He swelt, and abode with Him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.” (John 1:37-39). What was Jesus thinking as He turned and faced these two future apostles of His Gospel message? Did He see their future missionary activities and even their deaths for His name? Did He see Jon as an old man imprisoned on the island of Patmos? Did He see Andrew’s final days tied to a X-shaped cross in Greece for His name and message? What did Jesus see when He saw these two men following Him and asking where He dwelt? What did the two future apostles see in this man pointed out by the Baptist who proclaimed Jesus as the Lamb of God? What did that mean to these two men from Galilee? The Baptist told them who Jesus was and that they must follow Jesus now, so they did. One wonders if they spoke among each other about who this Jesus was and what it meant for them? So they followed and asked where did Jesus live, and Jesus said come and see.

But first, Andrew wanted to find his brother, “One of the two which heard John speak, and followed, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother, Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, He said, Thou art Simon, the son of Jonah; thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.” (John 1:40-42). What did Simon Peter think of this introduction by his brother Andrew of Jesus let alone that Jesus was the Messiah? Simon Peter’s reaction is not recorded so we do not know his reaction to this news of his brother that Jesus was the Messiah. Yet, it’s obvious that Simon Peter followed for a bit. Andrew was there when Jesus called Philip and Nathanael to follow Him, (John 1:43-51). Andrew and the other future apostles where with Jesus and the wedding at Cana, (John 2:1-10). What was the outcome of this brief following of Jesus? “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory; and His disciples believed on Him.” (John 2:11). But what about Jesus where they believing in? Certainly they believed Jesus spoke as one who could be the Messiah spoken of by the prophets, He performed miracles which testified that God was with this man spoken of by the Baptist and His meeting with Nathanael. But something was holding these men to the man from Nazareth. Andrew and other men who followed followed Jesus for a reason within their own hearts and minds. “After this He went down to Capernaum, He, and His mother, and His brethren, and His disciples, and they continued there not many days.” (John 2:12). Andrew and the other disciples met Jesus’s mother and His brothers-James, Jude, Jose, Simon and probably His sister’s were there; James and Jude future authors of epistles in the Scriptures. What questions were asked of His family; what were His brother’s thinking of Jesus and these disciples of His. James would eventually come to believe in Jesus as Messiah; Jude would as well became a believer in his brother as Messiah.

What did each group of those involved in that gathering think of the other? Did they really grasp the true impact that this Jesus would have on their lives? Doubtful as for the moment they were merely interested and curious of Jesus and who He was or might actually be; His own family was more concerned about Jesus and His mental state. Read Matthew 13:55, read John 7:3-5, and see His own brethren’s view of their older brother. This was the family that Andrew and the other disciples were encountering and yet they stayed with Jesus, “And the Jews’ Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.” (John 2:13).  They went with Jesus to Jerusalem. Why did Andrew and the others remain with Jesus? Sure they saw the miracles, they heard His words, and they followed. They were with Jesus when He entered the Temple and threw out the money changers and drove our the oxen and sheep and those who sold them, (John 2;14-15). Andrew and the other disciples watched as Jesus drove out of the Temple the worldliness that had invaded His Temple; it was the House of God after all and Jesus was God in flesh. They heard Him proclaim, “And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.” (John 2:16). Andrew and the other’s were there and heard the words of Jesus. Was this man who was throwing people out of the Temple the actual Messiah spoken of? They believed in Him as a messiah probably; someone who was to come and restore Israel to it’s former glory but was He that Messiah who was promised via the line of King David and a son of Abraham? I am sure these are questions they had with themselves and quit possibly pondered between each other in private. Andrew and the disciples heard the discussion between Jesus and the present religious leaders of the Temple and His answer to their questions. They too must have pondered His meaning and what He was saying. Their understanding of the Messiah had a long way to go before they fully understood the full reason for His coming and eventual death and resurrection, (John 2:18-22). They understood enough to realize that Jesus was different than the religious leaders of the Temple. Jesus spoke with an authority that drew many to Him and they began to believe in Him, (John 2:23). Except what exactly were they believing in? Was it the Messiah of the Scriptures or was it their version of what and who the Messiah was going to be let alone who the Messiah better be? I think in some ways that Andrew and the other disciples might have been leaning more toward their version of who the Messiah was going to be and not the one of the Scriptures. (The tragedy of the Jews was that the Messiah that came was not the one they wanted as Jesus wasn’t interested in freeing them from Rome but from a greater power called sin). And Jesus knew what the real reason was with these claiming to believe on Him. “But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because he knew all men. And needed not that any should testify of man; for He knew what was in man.” (John 2: 24-25). Jesus knew why Andrew and the other disciples were following Him, He knew why crowds were following Him, and He knew full well who truly was following Him because they understood His being there; though the last one was very small. He knew what was in man? Read Romans 1:27-32.

Andrew one must remember was there the night the Pharisee Nicodemus came and talked with Jesus, (John 3:1-22); he was with Jesus when the events with the Samaritan woman occurred, (John 4:1-42); he was there when the nobleman’s son was healed in Capernaum, (John 4:46-54); he was there at the healing of the lame man at the pool in Jerusalem, (John 5:1-9); Andrew was there when Jesus preached to the crowds along with the other disciples and we should remember that whenever the term disciple is used who it is talking about-Andrew and the other men who followed Jesus. Those twelve men who walked and heard and saw the life and ministry of this man from Nazareth were the disciples and would eventually die for that very same Jesus of Nazareth. Andrew and Philip are mentioned at the feeding of the five thousand, (John 6:1-13). Andrew was witness to Jesus walking on the Sea of Galilee, (John 6:15-21). Andrew was there when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, (John 11:5-45). He was there when Jesus entered Jerusalem, (John 12:12-36). Andrew was there at that last Passover of Jesus’s earthly life, (John 13:1-17:26). He was in the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus and the other disciples, and ran away from Jesus as well, (John 18:1-12). Maybe Andrew even at some point ventured to the actual cross that Jesus hung on; he might have. Andrew was with the other disciples on the third day of Jesus’s burial and witnessed the resurrected Christ and the incident with the Apostle Thomas, (John 20:19-31). Andrew may have been present at the incident on the Sea of Galilee after His resurrection, (John 21:1-22). He was most certainly with the other disciples at Jesus being taken up in the clouds, (Acts 1:4-11). He is named in the list of those present in the upper room during their prayer for the replacement of Judas with Mathias, (Acts 1:13-26). He was present at the Day of Pentecost and his brother’s sermon on that day, (Acts 2:1-41). He was one of the apostles who stayed in Jerusalem during the reign of terror created by the then still Saul of Tarsus, (Acts 8:1). He was part of the apostles who sent Peter and John to Samaria after the preaching of the Apostle Philip in the region and many believed the Gospel, (Acts 8:5-25). It is quit possible that it was during the reign of terror unleashed by Saul of Tarsus that Andrew went on his own missionary travels. He could have still been in Jerusalem when James, the bother of John, was killed by King Herod, and the imprisonment of Peter by the same king, (Acts 12:1-19). Andrew may have even been at the First Jerusalem Council where the then now Apostle Paul defended his preaching to the gentiles and his message of grace and grace alone, (Acts 15:1-30). Maybe it was then that the Apostle Andrew went on his own missionary travels preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Andrew had to have gone at some point and gone somewhere to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ as lead by the Holy Spirit. So where did this former fisherman of Galilee go and what became of him? There are several stories and legends of the Apostle Andrew and his later ministries. Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History of the Church records that the Apostle Andrew he traveled as far as Scythia, (Southern Russia in the region of the Black Sea. The legends, the stories, the idea that he preached in that region of the Black Sea created the idea that he should be the patron saint of Russia was born and grew. Other legends of the Apostle Andrew were written in the “The Acts Of St. Andrew And St. Bartholomew” gives an account of their missionary preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ among the Parthians; they were Persians of the Arsacid Empire. According to the “Martyrdom Of St. Andrew” he was stoned and crucified in Scythia. According to Biblical scholar, Edgar J. Goodspeed, (1871-1962), that to the Apostle Andrew Scythia was given to Andrew as his mission field along the Black sea region recorded in the “Acts Of Andrew” written probably sometime around 260 A. D. where eventually he traveled to Greece through Macedonia where his martyrdom occurred in Patras, Greece by being tied to an X-shaped cross.

Another tradition. Andrew the Apostle of Christ went north till he reached Scythia and preached Christ and then traveled through the region of Byzantium. Then he traveled through Greece and finally reached the city of Patrae, a city of Achaia, where he was killed for preaching Christ by being tied to an X-shaped cross by the proconsul Aaegaas. One debated that Andrew forsake his faith or be tortured where Andrew pleaded with the proconsul to not lose his soul. But neither gave into the other. Andrew was scourged and then finally tied to the cross and not nailed. From the cross he preached Christ for the two days he endured the agony of dying for the one he followed from that day the Baptist pointed Jesus out to him.

Another tradition. The Apostle Andrew went as far as the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains; modern day Georgia, Russia, and he preached and spread the Gospel to the Scythians as far as the Caspian Sea. Andrew was imprisoned, stoned, and suffered as his Master said he would for the cause of Christ. Then from his travels through Byzantium he traveled to Greece. He traveled to Thrace, through Macadonia and down the Corinthian Gulf to Patros where he was killed for the cause of the Gospel of Christ. It is said that Aigeatis, the governor of Patros became enraged at the Apostle’s preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and ordered him to stand before him and denounce his faith in Christ which the Apostle Andrew refused to do and was finally ordered crucified. After bring tied there for two days and upon his death uttered from his own cross for Christ, “Accept me, O Christ Jesus, Whom I saw, Whom I love, and in Whom I am, Accept my spirit in peace in Your Eternal Realm.”

The Apostle Andrew started with John The Baptist until the Baptist pointed out the One Andrew was to truly follow and come to believe in as the long awaited Messiah. He walked with Jesus and his fellow future Apostle’s of Christ and saw and heard all that Jesus did and said and was there at His miracles and the resurrection! He preached in Jerusalem as the other’s did and went out to the rest of the world and probably motivated to do so by the success of the Apostle Paul’s missionary efforts. He traveled as far north as the Caspian Sea and preached to the pagans and lost souls for which Christ died for. He traveled through the southern regions of Russia according to traditions that all have a core of truth to them as the Apostle Andrew had to have gone somewhere. He preached in Byzantium through Macadonia through Greece and finally to the cross that his Lord and Messiah Himself carried to prove God’s great love and mercy and redemption for all the world. He debated and preached before his accusers and they lost because they tried to kill the message by tying the Apostle Andrew to a X-shaped cross to silence his message of salvation. What did he preached from his own cross? The Apostle Andrew, the once fisher of fish became a fisher of men upon even the cross he hung upon. He preached the life and message and works of Jesus and he preached the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ from the dead. Imagine the debate between the Apostle Andrew and the Governor of Patros. One demanding the Andrew forsake his faith in Christ and embrace the gods of the Empire and stop with this preaching of only one God and of this Christ while Andrew preached Christ and Christ crucified. God and Christ was preached against the gods and philosophies of the Roman Empire and those who ruled it. One argued to save himself to enjoy the world and all it’s pleasures, while another preached to not lose his soul for all eternity because of those worldly pleasures.


The Bible. (KJV).

Foxe’s Book Of Martyrs. By. John Foxe.

Ecclesiastical History. By. Eusebius

The Search For The Twelve Apostles. By. William Steuart McBirnie.

Contendings Of The Apostles. By. E. A. Budge.

The Martyrdom Of St. Andrew. By. E. A. Budge.

The Message Of Acts. By. John R. W. Stott.

The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Acts 1-12.

The MacArthur New Testament Commentary:Acts 13-28.

12 Ordinary Mn: How The Master Shaped His Disciples For Greatness. By. John M. MacArthur.

The Acts Of Andrew And the Acts Of Andrew And Matthias In The City Of The Cannibals. By. Dennis MacDonald. (Gnostic).

The Twelve. By. Edgar J. Goodspeed.

The Lives And Deaths Of The Holy Apostles. By. Dorman Newman.

Tyndale New Testament Commentaries: Acts. By. L. Howard Marshall.

John, Son Of Thunder. By. Ellen G. Traylor. (Novel).




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