Question: "Who was Andrew in the Bible?"

Answer: Andrew in the Bible was a disciple of Jesus. Andrew was Simon Peter’s brother, and they were called to follow Jesus at the same time (Matthew 4:18). The Bible names Andrew as one of the twelve apostles (Matthew 10:2). Like Peter, Andrew was a fisherman by trade; they made their living on the Sea of Galilee. Peter and Andrew were from the city of Bethsaida (John 1:44) on the northwest coast of Galilee (John 12:21).

The call of Andrew in the Bible is a memorable story. Andrew and John were originally disciples of John the Baptist. They were present when John the Baptist pointed out Jesus as the Lamb of God (John 1:35–36), and they followed after Jesus (verse 37). Jesus noticed Andrew and John following and invited them to come spend the day with Him (verses 38–39). After spending the time with Jesus, Andrew became convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, and he took action: “Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus” (verses 40–42). Thus Andrew was one of Jesus’ first two followers and the first to bring another person to Him.

Later, Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee when He came across Andrew and Peter, busy casting nets into the lake in search of fish. Jesus called to them: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). The Bible says that Andrew and Peter “immediately” followed Jesus, leaving their nets behind (verse 20). Andrew and Peter already knew who Jesus was, based on their contact with Him in John 1, and now when He officially calls them to be disciples, they respond.

In leaving behind the family business, Andrew sets a good example for all who would follow Christ; we are all called to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33), and we should not let anything get in the way of following Jesus’ call. When Jesus told Andrew and Peter they would be “fishers of men,” He promised that He would use them to save men’s souls. And that’s exactly what the apostles did.

There is at least one instance in Andrew’s life, recorded in the Bible, where he was a “fisher of men.” Some Greeks approached Philip, one of Andrew’s fellow disciples, wanting to see Jesus (John 12:20–21). Philip told Andrew what the Greeks wanted, and together Andrew and Philip brought the matter to Jesus (verse 22). In bringing Greeks to Jesus, Andrew had faith that Jesus’ intention was to save all men, and he was right: Jesus responded by referencing His crucifixion, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (John 12:23). His death and resurrection would be the way by which all men, from all races and creeds and families, would be saved. These are the “fish of every kind” from Jesus’ parable of the dragnet (Matthew 13:47–50), and Andrew was one of the first to be involved in an evangelical effort that extended beyond the Jewish people. The incident with the curious Greeks anticipated the day when God would reveal to Peter, Andrew’s brother, that all people are welcome to come to Jesus (Acts 10:1–48).