Introduction – Jesus knew that one day His work would be finished. He was born to die on the cross. He must die and then ascend into Heaven. So, Jesus chose twelve men whom He could teach and train to do the work of God. These twelve men were different in many ways. There were fishermen, businessmen, farmers, and men of other professions. Some were very poor, and a few were wealthy. They were different in many ways, but they joined together to do the work of God. Every Christian can see a little of the disciples in his life. The twelve men Jesus chose are a picture of the type of people God still uses today. The Lord can do extraordinary things with ordinary people.
The Twelve Disciples (References: Matthew 10:1-8; Mark 3:13-21; Luke 6:12-19; Acts 1:13). These twelve men were not perfect. Sometimes, Jesus had to teach them as He would teach little children. Sometimes, they would fuss about who was the greatest disciple. Sometimes, when they were tested, they had little faith. At the time Judas betrayed Christ in the garden, every disciple left Jesus. Even Peter, who was a strong leader, denied Jesus and then cursed. These men had weaknesses, but later they were empowered with the Holy Spirit and they remained faithful to the Lord. These were just ordinary men who did extraordinary things for God.
The Twelve – Simon (whom Jesus named Peter) – Andrew (Peter’s brother) James (son of Zebedee) – John (brother of James) – Philip – Bartholomew – Thomas – Matthew – Judas (Luke 6:16) – James (son Alphaeus) – Simon and Judas Iscariot (traitor – Luke 6:16).
Note: Matthias was chosen by the disciples to replace Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:23-26). Paul was later called an apostle to the Gentiles, but he was not called a disciple. “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead).” (Galatians 1:1).
THE DISCIPLES – THE APOSTLES
What is the difference between an apostle and a disciple?
You have probably noticed that sometimes the twelve were called disciples and sometimes they were called apostles. It is important to understand the difference between an apostle and a disciple.
Disciple – A learner who seeks to imitate his teacher; in other words, a pupil, a student – a follower. “Come follow me.” In the Gospels, the twelve were usually called disciples, because as long as Jesus was with them they were still learners. Disciples were to come and learn.
Apostle – One sent forth; one chosen and sent with a special commission as the fully authorized representative of the sender. “Go into all the world.” Apostles were personally sent from the Lord Jesus Christ after His resurrection to teach, preach and train others.
ANDREW – THE SOUL WINNER
Andrew was a fisherman from the city of Bethsaida. In the days of Jesus, he lived in the city of Capernaum. Andrew was a follower of John the Baptist. John the Baptist was a great preacher. Many people listened to him and repented of their sins. After they repented, John the Baptist baptized them in the River Jordan. This is how he got his name, John the Baptist. Andrew became a follower of John the Baptist. Andrew heard John tell of One yet to come – One who was greater than himself and would take away the sins of the world. Andrew was very interested in the messages of John the Baptist. One day, at the river, Andrew heard John the Baptist say, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Andrew looked and saw Jesus. He watched as John baptized Jesus in the River Jordan. He then was very surprised to hear a voice from Heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son.” He knew that Jesus was the Son of God. He was very excited and eager to meet Jesus. Andrew decided to follow Jesus.
THE FIRST DISCIPLE – Andrew became the first disciple of Jesus. The word “disciple” means one who follows another person. Andrew became a follower (disciple) of Jesus. Andrew made a great decision. He gave up his friends, family, and his fishing to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. Andrew decided to follow the Lord.
ANDREW: A SOUL WINNER – The first thing Andrew did was to run to his brother Peter to tell him about the Son of God who could take away sin. He wanted his brother to meet Jesus. He quickly took Peter to meet Jesus. Peter, then, was saved and also became a disciple. Andrew was always eager to bring “more” people to Jesus. Andrew was a soul winner. A soul winner is a person who continually tries to lead other people to Christ. Andrew was truly a soul winner. The Bible does not tell that Andrew was a great preacher, but Andrew is famous because he brought people to Jesus. Andrew brought his brother to Jesus. “One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, 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” (John 1:40-41).
Andrew brought a boy to Jesus. “One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here…” (John 6:1-14).
Andrew brought the Greek people to Jesus. “And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus” (John 12:20-22). Andrew was always bringing someone to the Lord.
EVERY CHRISTIAN CAN BE AN ANDREW – Every Christian can be an Andrew and bring others to Jesus. You need to witness to your brothers, sisters, and your family about Jesus. Invite your family and friends to church with you. Andrew loved Jesus. He wanted all his friends and family to meet Jesus. Decide now to be an Andrew and become a soul winner. This is a work that every Christian can do. Can you think of someone who needs to be saved? Be an Andrew and bring them to Jesus. If you do not help them, who will? The Lord’s first command was to “come follow me.” He taught them for about three and one-half years, and then His last command was to “go” – give everyone the Gospel and teach them to teach others. This is the plan of God for all Christians to – “come” and learn and then “go” with the Gospel to the world. Witness to someone this week. Give out tracts, talk to people and invite them to church. Become an Andrew. (…continue next page)