Andrew is Called by Jesus
While Jesus traveled through Galilee preaching, Andrew and his brother Peter had apparently gone back to work as fishermen with James and John. After a couple months or more had passed, Jesus came back to Capernaum, possibly staying at Andrew’s house.(1) Andrew and his brother Peter were at the synagogue in Capernaum on the Sabbath when Jesus spoke with authority and cast out a demon,(2) and afterwards, they went back to their house with Jesus, James, and John. It was there that Peter’s mother-in-law was horribly sick with a “great fever,” but was healed by Jesus.(3)
According to Luke, who explicitly stated that his gospel account was “in order” (KJV) or “in consecutive order” (NASB),(4) Andrew and Peter’s official call came after the events on the Sabbath.(5) Jesus had gone near the Sea of Galilee, and a crowd of people found Him. So he climbed aboard one of the two ships there, the one that belonged to Andrew and Peter, and the boat was shoved off a bit so Jesus could sit down and teach the crowds on the shore without being mobbed by them. Andrew and Peter were both on the ship with Jesus when the Lord said, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets.”(6) Andrew heard his brother explain that they’d worked all night, but caught nothing, but they still did as Jesus asked.(7)
Andrew was shocked by what happened next.(8) The nets started to break, so they called James and John to come over in their ship as well, and the massive amount of fish filled both of the ships to the point of almost sinking. The four men were amazed, and Jesus said to them, “from this point forward, you will catch men,”(9) “follow me.”(10) As a result, Andrew (and the others) left his ship and the fishing business behind to follow the “Lamb of God.”
Traveling with Jesus, Andrew was present to see Him cleanse a leper, forgive the sins of a paralyzed man and then heal him, cast out demons, teach parables, and perform many other miracles.(11) Andrew ate with the Lord and His disciples in the house of Matthew, the tax collector, and learned straight from the lips of our Savior that His mission was to “call sinners to repentance.”(12)
Andrew the Apostle (Limited Commission)
One morning, Andrew was called by Jesus, along with the other disciples, to a mountain. This was one of the most momentous days in Andrew’s life, because it was on this day that Jesus chose him to be one of the twelve apostles. From that point onward, Andrew was forever to be connected with the mission of Jesus. He followed Jesus throughout Galilee, listening to His sermons, watching His miracles, and perhaps even being overwhelmed by what Jesus said on a one particular occasion:
While [Jesus] yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and brothers stood outside, desiring to speak with Him. Then one said to Him, “Behold, your mother and your brothers stand outside, desiring to speak with you.” But [Jesus] answered and said to him who told Him, “Who is my mother? And who are my brothers?” And He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples, and said, “Behold, my mother and my brothers!” (Matthew 12:46-49).
After some more travel with Jesus, Andrew and the other eleven apostles were called to meet privately with Him. They had seen Him perform many miracles, but now Jesus did something that they probably weren’t expecting:
He…gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick (Luke 9:1-2).
Jesus sent them out “two by two,”(13) and it is probable that Andrew went with Peter.(14) Andrew took this mission seriously, preaching the gospel,(15) preaching that the hearers should repent, and confirming the message by “cast[ing] out many demons and anoint[ing] with oil many who were sick, and heal[ing] them.”(16)
Once the mission, often called the “Limited Commission,” was finished, Andrew met up with Jesus again in a deserted place near Bethsaida and gave a report of all that he had done in Jesus’ name (as did the other apostles).(17)
Late on that same day, after crowds had been following Jesus, Andrew and the apostles all asked Jesus to send them away to the cities because they didn’t have food to feed them with. Jesus’ response was, “You give them [food] to eat.”(18) Andrew found a young boy and brought him to Jesus, and told Him “There is a lad here who had five barley loaves and two fishes. But what is that among so many?” Andrew had to be amazed as Jesus blessed the food and fed five thousand people with it, especially after he went around with the other apostles gathering up the leftovers—which filled twelve baskets!(19)
-Bradley S. Cobb
(1) Matthew 4:13.
(2) Mark 1:21-28
(3) Mark 1:29-31
(4) Luke 1:3. The word means in chronological order.
(5) Matthew and Mark place the call before those events. There are some who argue that Jesus called them twice: once before the Sabbath in Capernaum, and again after a preaching tour of Galilee (aka, Luke’s account), however, Luke 4:43-44 may be Luke’s explanation that Jesus did indeed do what He planned on doing, but Luke 5:1 appears to be a continuation of the crowd scene from 4:42. So, the preaching tour of Galilee may have come after the call of Peter and Andrew in Luke’s account.
(6) Luke 5:4. It is the position of this writer, as well as McGarvey, that this is the same calling as described in Matthew and Mark, both of which place Andrew and Peter in the boat together at the time of their call.
(7) Luke 5:5.
(8) Luke has a habit of not mentioning people by name unless they are either (1) well-known to his original reader or (2) someone who will be an important player later on in his writings (including the book of Acts). Luke only mentions Andrew by name when he is listing the apostles—which he does once in Luke 6:13-16 and once in Acts 1:13.
(9) Luke 5:10.
(10) Matthew 4:19
(11) See Mark 2 and Luke 5. If we were to detail everything seen by Andrew, we would almost need to type out every part of the four gospel accounts. Not only that, we would need to do it for each chapter. As such, we will be summarizing, and only going into detail when the individuals are specifically named.
(12) Luke 5:29-32
(13) Mark 6:7
(14) In most of the listings of the apostles, Peter and Andrew are mentioned together.
(15) Luke 9:6
(16) Mark 6:12-13
(17) Luke 9:10
(18) Luke 9:12-13
(19) John 6:8-13