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by Gary Knuckles

Tell me everything you know about Andrew. This may take a while because there is not much said about him in scripture. In fact, you probably remember his name only because you heard it in a VBS song. You might have memorized the list of apostles found several times in the Gospels, but you can’t remember just a lot about him. In fact, you may only remember him as the brother of Peter. And, therein lies the problem!

We remember Peter very well. We can relate a number of stories about Peter and we are familiar enough with him that we feel fairly comfortable making certain judgments about him. But, what about Andrew? After all, Andrew was the first disciple to be called by Jesus. (Jn. 1:35-40) It was Andrew that told Peter about Jesus. (Jn. 1:41,42) And, nearly every time Andrew’s name is mentioned, he is bringing someone to Jesus. (Jn. 1:41,42; 6:8; 12:20-22)

It seems that Andrew lived his life in the shadow of his brother and in relative obscurity compared to some of the other apostles. (John, James, doubting Thomas) But, this may be his greatest strength! He doesn’t display the rash character of Peter and he isn’t one of the “sons of thunder” as was James and John. Though he had been in the fishing business with Peter, James, and John, he is not included when these men are invited to be with Jesus in the mount of transfiguration. Once Pentecost is over in Acts 2, we read nothing further about Andrew.

Yet, his example is one of quiet and unassuming leadership. He simply goes his way preaching the gospel and bringing people to Jesus without fanfare or recognition. Andrew is the man “left out” even though he was part of Jesus’ inner circle.

C.H. Spurgeon is credited with saying, “It takes more grace than I can tell to play the second fiddle well.” Humility, quietness, satisfaction in a job well done without award are things that we find difficult to accept. We like the recognition and praises of men. But, the greater work is often done by those behind the scenes whose names are often forgotten.

Peter, ever the one to be in the forefront, once wrote, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.” (1 Pet. 5:6) Perhaps he had seen, firsthand in Andrew’s life, the power of the man left out. Not all of us can be great leaders, but anyone can be great influences even in anonymity. The unknown are often the ones who change the world!


Gary Knuckles is Minister of the Briensburg Church of Christ and lives in Benton, Ky.


  1. Ronald Bartanen says:

    I always appreciate your articles, Gary. Hoping all is well with you and your family.

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