Recently I read Matthew 4:18-22 where Jesus calls two sets of brothers (Peter/Andrew and James/John) to be among his first followers. Throughout the Gospels, three of these guys (Peter, James, and John) play a significant role as Jesus’ inner circle. It was these three who were up on the mountain with Jesus at his transfiguration (Matt. 17). He took them on special assignments without the others (Mark 5:37). These three were closer to him than the others in Gethsemane (Mark 14:33). And on and on it goes.
So the question that’s been on my mind is, “What about Andrew?” What was it like to be the one brother left out of this inner circle? After all, it had been Andrew who’d introduced Peter to Jesus in the first place (John 1:41).
I ask this not to question Jesus’ fairness or anything like that. I trust that Jesus had his reasons for doing things as he did. But I marvel that Andrew, despite being the odd man out in this foursome, found such security in Christ that it never really seemed to bother him that much.
There is every indication that Andrew continued to be a faithful disciple, and after Jesus’ ascension he went on to preach throughout Europe and Eurasia. According to certain tradition he was crucified on an X-shaped cross (now known as St. Andrew’s Cross) because he deemed himself unworthy to die in the same manner as Jesus.
I am so grateful that in Christ we can see an end to jockeying for position or finding our worth in our place in the pecking order. To follow Jesus and be loved by him is enough. Andrew’s life and even death remind me of that.