Andrew During the Passion Week
The twelve apostles came with Jesus to Jerusalem before the Passover, and stayed in the house of Mary and Martha. The next day, Sunday, Andrew watched as Jesus mounted a young donkey and entered Jerusalem with the people crying out “Hosannah! Blessed is the King of Israel that comes in the name of the Lord!”1 Amidst the commotion of the day, some Gentiles who were there for the upcoming feast approached Philip, who brought them to Andrew.2 They said, “We want to see Jesus.”3 So Andrew, for the third time in the biblical record, brought people to the Lord.4 Andrew must have watched and listened as Jesus spoke to these Gentiles.
The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily I say to you, “Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit. He that loves His life shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor. Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.”
Then came a voice from heaven, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
The people therefore who stood by and heard it said that it thundered: others said, “An angel spoke to Him” (John 12:23-39).
Andrew stood as the Father spoke from heaven, and heard Jesus say that God spoke for the benefit of those around Him (including Andrew). Then, even though Andrew had heard it before, he couldn’t help but feel sadness when he heard Jesus announce once more that He was going to die.5
Andrew certainly accompanied Jesus (as did the other apostles) during His visits into Jerusalem on Monday, when Jesus again overturned the tables of the money-changers, and Tuesday, watching the Master teach in the temple, confronting Pharisees, Sadducees, chief priests, scribes, elders, and Herodians as they tried to trip Him up in front of the people.6 It was on this Tuesday, the final Tuesday before Jesus’ cruel death, that Jesus and His disciples left the temple, and one of them pointed out the immense beauty of the temple complex.7 This building project began fifty years earlier, and included tearing down the temple build by Zerubabbel,8 completely removing the foundation, creating an entirely new foundation 30 feet higher than it had been, and carted in massive marble slabs that were white and strong, 37.5 feet long, 18 feet wide, and 12 feet tall to build the temple.9 The temple was raised up to such a height and prominence in Jesus’ day that Josephus says
[T]he middle [the temple itself] was much higher, till they were visible to those that dwelt in the country for a great many furlongs. …
The temple had doors also at the entrance, and lintels over them, of the same height as the temple itself. They were adorned with embroidered veils, with their flowers of purple, and pillars interwoven: and over these, but under the crownwork, was spread out a golden vine, with its branches hanging down from a great height, the largeness and fine workmanship of which was a surprising sight to the spectators, to see what vast materials there were, and with what great skill the workmanship was done.10
But as Andrew and the other apostles stood with Jesus, looking at the temple, the Master said, “You see these great buildings? There shall not be left one stone upon another, which shall not be thrown down.”11 Given the immensity of these marble slabs (stones), such a statement shocked Jesus’ disciples. It was such a shock that Andrew and Peter, James and John, came to Jesus privately as He sat on the Mount of Olives to ask Him “When shall these things be? And what shall be the sign when all these things are fulfilled?”12 Andrew then listened intently as he heard Jesus detail for them the events leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in accordance with Old Testament prophecy, adding the words “This generation shall not pass until all these things are done.”13
Wednesday evening (which to the Jews would have been the beginning of Thursday),14 Jesus gathered with Andrew and the other apostles in an upper room to eat the Passover. During the meal, Andrew watched as Jesus stood up and wrapped a towel around Himself, and then came and washed Andrew’s feet.15 and it was at this time that Jesus told them that He was going to be betrayed by one of them. Shocked and worried, Andrew asks Jesus, “Is it I?” But he isn’t given a direct answer.
Jesus, with the apostles (minus Judas, who had left),16 after singing a hymn, went to the Mount of Olives, where He told Andrew and the others, “All of you shall be offended because of me this night.” Andrew watched his brother Peter argue with Jesus over this, saying “Although all [of them] shall be offended, yet I will not.” Then after Jesus foretold that Peter would deny Him three times, Peter said, “If I should die with You, I will not deny You in any way,” and Andrew said the same thing.17
Of course, it was just a short time later that Judas arrived with soldiers, who took hold of Jesus, and scared Andrew and the others to the point that they “forsook Him and fled”18
-Bradley S. Cobb
1 John 12:12-14, Mark 11:1-10, Matthew 21:1-9, Luke 19:29-38
2 John’s record of these events appears to place them on the same day as the “Triumphal Entry,” on what has come to be known as “Palm Sunday” (though neither phrases appear in the inspired text). However, J.W. McGarvey take the position that this incident with Andrew and the Greeks took place on the Tuesday following, though he does not give an explanation for his reasoning in his Fourfold Gospel.
3 John 12:20-22
4 Andrew brought his brother, Simon [Peter], to Jesus; he brought the lad with the loaves and fishes to Jesus; and he brought these Gentiles to Jesus.
5 John 12:30-32 records Jesus repeating His death announcement. The listeners, according to the verses that follow, understood that Jesus was saying that He must die, and thought that meant He wasn’t the Christ, about whom they had heard “out of the Law” that He should “abide forever” (John 12:34). Some may think that the death announcement was not understood when Jesus stated it, but the Gentiles that Andrew brought to Jesus understood Him pretty well.
6 These incidents are recorded in Mark 11:27-33; 13:13, 18-27, as well as in Matthew and Luke’s accounts.
7 None of the biblical writers disclose the name of the disciple in question. Therefore, any guess would be nothing more than a supposition. However, given how frequently certain disciples are mentioned by name, it seems logical to assume that it was not Peter, Andrew, James, or John (who are mentioned by name just two verses later in Mark’s account), nor Judas (for if it was him, it would seem worth noting to point out because of his materialistic mind).
8 Josephus places it during the 18th year of the reign of Herod the Great, which would be approximately 20 BC.
9 This information is recorded for us in Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews, book 15, chapter 11, paragraphs 1-3.
10 Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 15.11.3
11 Mark 13:2, Matthew 24:1-2.
12 Mark 13:3-4. The questions, as recorded in Matthew 24, are worded differently: “When shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of your coming and of the end of the world? We have chosen to use the questions as Mark records them, for he is the only one who identifies the specific questioners (Andrew in particular).
13 Mark 13:5-37, but especially verse 30. Matthew 24:34 and Luke 21:32 also record this saying.
14 To the Jew, a new day began at 6pm. Thus, this Passover meal, in Jewish reckoning, was eaten on Thursday, though to us, it would be Wednesday evening. Space forbids an extended discussion of the day in which Jesus was crucified, but perhaps this will suffice: In order for Jesus to be the fulfillment of the Passover Lamb type, He would need to be killed on the same day prescribed by God in Exodus 12. In the years 29-33 (where most estimates of Jesus’ death are placed), the day in question never happened on a Friday. However, in AD 30, it fell on a Thursday. It is the belief of this writer, after much study, that Jesus died on the 14th of Nisan, AD 30, which was a Thursday, and that He was buried on the 15th (remember that to the Jews, the day changed at 6 pm), and was raised on the following Sunday.
15 John 13:1-5
16 John 13:21-30
17 Mark 14:26-31.
18 Matthew 26:56