Sometimes it seems like your spiritual insight into a matter or a person is better than 20/20. You meet someone and realize they are not just special, but that God has His hand on them. Andrew, the follower of John the Baptist and soon to be disciple of Jesus, had that prescient insight of who he saw Christ to be, which is evidenced in these next few illustrations.
John 6:1-13 tells the story of Jesus multiplying five barley loaves of bread and two small fish. Jesus was with His disciples by the Lake of Galilee and saw a great multitude of people that had followed Him. The number was 5000, but that was likely just a headcount of the men. It could very well have been 15,000 to 20,000 people counting women and children. Jesus then asks Philip, “Where shall we buy enough food to feed all of these people?” Jesus said this to test Philip’s faith, as He already knew what He was going to do. Philip’s reply was, “Even if we give everyone a small portion, it would cost more than 200 pieces of silver.” That was equivalent to about 8 months of wages for the average person. It was also a bit of a trip to get back to town.
Andrew had an idea and felt there was something special that might be done here. He had been a disciple of John the Baptist and had heard his teaching on the coming of the Christ. Andrew most likely witnessed John baptizing Jesus. He heard him say that this was the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. I’m sure he heard the voice of God speaking and saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Andrew knew this was the Messiah and upon invitation immediately followed Him. But Andrew also became the first evangelist for Christ and went and told his brother, Peter, “We have found the Messiah.” He then took his brother to Jesus who changed his name from Simon to Cephas, which means Peter the Rock. Andrew knew that he saw one with the ability to transform your very essence, not just change your name.
Andrew next sees Jesus perform a miracle of immense proportions by rescuing the hosts of a wedding that had run out of wine. This changes the path of Jesus’ ministry walk. Miracles bring out believers and also those just wanting to have a look. Jesus has the servants fill six stone water pots to the brim with water. Each one of those pots held twenty gallons. That was 120 gallons of wine. And not just average wine, but the best wine. I am sure those people never tasted wine like that again.
Andrew hears Jesus witness and minister to Nicodemus and then the Samaritan woman at the well. He next sees Jesus heal the paralytic man by the pool of Bethesda. Andrew is seeing and hearing things that he had hoped to one day witness as a believer in the coming Messiah, but this was more than he had imagined. He is hearing the words of life being spoken by the Living Word. So when Philip is not sure how to really answer Jesus’ question as to how to feed the multitudes, Andrew is reminded of all he has already seen and heard firsthand by Jesus. So he sees that if this man that could change water into wine and heal a nobleman’s son without even going to see him and lay hands on him, then just maybe the five barley loaves and two small fish could be turned into a feast. So Andrew says, “Look! Here’s a young boy with five barley loaves and two small fish…but how far would that go with this huge crowd?”(Passion Translation) Andrew just knew that the Lord would do something amazing but even still he had a tiny amount of wondering exactly how his Lord would do it. And man did he see. Jesus blessed the food and then gave it to His disciples to pass out to the crowd. They saw it multiply as they distributed the food. They gave out meals to thousands and there was still food there to feed the people. It is one thing to marvel that so little could feed so many as an onlooker at Gods’ restaurant but quite another to be a server and never have to say you’ve run out of food. And when they were done there were twelve baskets of food left over. A basket for each disciple.
Jesus could have just had manna drop from the heavens like it did with the Israelites in the desert. But that would still not have had the effect this miracle did. He was also saying He is the bread of life. The manna could not do what He would do. He is the living bread which came down from heaven. He was showing them eternal life. He who believed in Him would have everlasting life and He would soon go and prepare a place for those who believe.
Andrew means brave. He stepped out and brought his brother to Jesus with no doubt. His spiritual insight sort of got things rolling with the disciples. He preached the word in vast areas and at the end was told to stop by the proconsul in the city of Achaia and told to join in sacrificing to heathen gods. For his refusal, he was crucified on a cross shaped like an X. During the days he was suffering and dying, he was still exhorting onlookers to embrace or adhere to the faith of Jesus.
We have access to see things in so many venues. Many of us have seen mighty things done by the Lord right before our eyes or have heard the testimonies of miraculous works. Andrew was not disobedient to that heavenly vision. He tasted of that heavenly gift. 1 John 3:1 says “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God.” What is ours through belief in Him did not come cheaply. This is faith at work and it was at work in Andrew before he saw Jesus. He knew. I leave you with the James Moffat translation of 1 Corinthians 2:9, “What no eye has ever seen, what no ear has ever heard, what never entered into the mind of man, God has prepared for those who love Him.” We have inherited the same godsend and ability for spiritual insight as Andrew. Blessings.