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Biblical People

Biblical People: Andrew

Andrew, another of Jesus’s disciples, is Peter’s brother, presumably his younger brother. They’re fishermen. When Jesus asks them to be his disciples, he tells them that going forward, they’ll fish for people.

While the Bible talks about Peter a lot, Andrew receives only a few mentions. And when his name does occur, it’s usually along with his brother. It seems Andrew is destined to be forever connected with his more outgoing sibling.

However, the Bible has two stories about Andrew.

Once, when a huge crowd (the Bible says 5,000 men, plus women and children) gathers to listen to Jesus, he wants to give them something to eat. Though he already knows what he’s going to do, he uses this as a teaching moment for his disciples. 

After Philip, another of the disciples, realizes they don’t have enough money to buy food, Andrew offers a hopeful suggestion. He brings them a boy with five small loaves of bread and two tiny fish. It’s not enough, but it’s a start. 

Yet with Jesus this is more than enough. He supernaturally multiplies this small amount of food, feeds everyone gathered, and has leftovers. Though Andrew’s part in this miracle is small, he is the catalyst to make it happen.

Another time, some people from Greece want to meet Jesus. They approach Philip and ask for an introduction. What does Philip do? He tells Andrew. (It’s interesting that Philip and Andrew appear together in both stories.) Together Philip and Andrew go tell Jesus about the people who want to see him. Though we don’t know why Philip doesn’t do this himself, we can surmise that he looks to Andrew as someone who can help make it happen. Even though we have no hint of Andrew being a leader among the twelve disciples, Philip must have looked up to him.

How do we react when we find ourselves in someone’s shadow? What do we do when a friend asks for help?

[Discover more about Andrew in John 6:8–9 and John 12:20–22.]

Read more about other people in the New Testament in The Friends and Foes of Jesus, now available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 700-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.