John 1:35-42 – Jesus encounters Andrew


JOHN 1:35-42; Mark 1:14-20; John 6:8; John 12:20-22.




All the 4 gospels are written with a different emphasis – they certainly all begin differently. If we read Mark’s gospel only we could easily get the impression that as Jesus was one day walking along the shores of  Lake Galilee, he saw some fishermen whom he had never met before and said to them ‘Follow me’ at which point they immediately dropped everything and went with him.

One of these men was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.


Would you give up your source of livelihood and follow a stranger? I doubt you would – I certainly wouldn’t.


It is not easy to put the events of the NT in exactly the right chronological order – there is no complete agreement amongst scholars regarding the order of events.


As we look at Andrew’s encounters with Jesus I want to try put the event in some order –




1. From following John to following Jesus.


John the Baptist is preaching and baptising in the Jordan Valley when some of the Jewish leader come to investigate – in the conversation John says the following:

John 1:26-27

     26 “I baptise with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” (NIV)


The following day when John is speaking to a group of people he sees Jesus coming towards them and he says…


John 1:29-30

     29 ….. “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ (NIV)


From what John says in the next few verses [31 – 34] it is clear that this is taking place after Jesus’s baptism and temptation. We know that Jesus Temptation was 40 days so this encounter is at the very least 40 days after Jesus Baptism.


We also know that John had many followers – What do you think was the main topic of conversation during that time? The Messiah! Indeed that was the reason for John’s preaching – John was sent to announce the coming of the Messiah. Surely that is what he taught his followers.


Now let’s read from verse 35.

John 1:35-40

     35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

     37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning round, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”

     They said, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?”

     39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”

     So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour.

     40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. (NIV)


Andrew had a disciple’s heart – he had faithfully followed John and listened to his teaching – John pointed people to Jesus and Andrew, having learned well was willing to go with Jesus when he came along. It was only after these events that the encounter on the shores of Galilee took place where Andrew, Peter, James and John left their fishing and followed Jesus.


2.  From fishing to following.


Matthew 4:18-20

     18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. (NIV)


Andrew, with his brother Peter, was a fisherman – Fishing in those days was a good business. Archaeological excavations have discovered some large houses in the area of Capernaum indicating that the fishermen were able to make a reasonably good living from their businesses.

We have often been under the impression that these men were poor peasant people – that might not necessarily be the case.


The point is that they were willing to give up their livelihood in order to follow Christ.

Since then there have been many who have sacrificed lucrative careers for the sake of the gospel.


ILLUS.: We know the famous stories about  C. T. Studd, Hudson Taylor, — we know people today like Rosemary Brown who has given up a nursing career in England and a comfortable modern home to live in a mud hut and work in Africa. 

Chris Small in Paris – a forestry engineer who loves the outdoor life but lives in a council flat in Paris   — all of these to be obedient to Christ’s call.


I am moved by such stories and I admire these people but God hasn’t called me to live in a mud hut. I live a very comfortable life in comparison.


What does this call to discipleship mean for us in Binscombe?? [RESPONSE] !!!



ILLUS.: Recently had Arman and Rema to a meal – lived through the revolution under Ayatollah Khomeni and all the problems that there were and still are in Iran. He said, ‘ I find it more difficult being a Christian in England. At least in Iran I knew who the enemy is! Here it is all very subtle!’


As Christ’s disciples we are under great pressure to conform to the world – He requires that we follow him and not get sucked into the worldly system but at the same time convey the gospel in a way that is relevant to the society we live in.

STOTT – ‘double listening’ – to God and to the world. To God so we can obey him and to the world so we can understand it [but not swallowed up by it]


3. From fisherman to fisher of men


We have very little information about Andrew but we have enough for us to know that he had a missionary heart. In its simplest definition a missionary is a man or woman who is carrying out a mission.


Andrew had a mission. His mission was to tell people about Jesus.

One of the first things we read about Andrew is this; John 1:40-42

     40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.(NIV)


Andrew is so thrilled with his first day with Jesus that he can’t wait to tell hi brother Peter. He is overjoyed at having found the Messiah and his brother is the first to know he new discovery. But he doesn’t just tell Peter – we read, – 42 And he brought him to Jesus.


 It is interesting that Peter is the one who becomes better known. Peter is the one who declared that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God. It is Peter who preaches the sermon on the Day of Pentecost when 3000 repented and were baptised.


Little did Andrew know the impact that bringing his brother to Jesus would have in terms of the Kingdom of God. By bringing Peter, Andrew became the first in a long line of those bearing personal witness to Jesus – friend to friend; brother to brother. Still the most effective form of witnessing.


When you or I introduce someone to Jesus we have no idea what the impact of that will be.


How many SS teachers have influenced children who later became great preaches and missionaries.

How many unknown mothers have raised godly men and women who have had a dramatic impact on the world for Christ.


Do you remember John Wesley’s famous comment, ‘I learned more about Christianity from my mother than from all the Theologians of England.’


On another occasion Andrew brought a little boy to Jesus – the boy was carrying five barley loaves and two fishes. We all know what happened to that small meal – it fed 5000 men besides the women and children and there were still 12 baskets of leftovers. [John 6]


In the last weeks of Jesus ministry in John 12:20-22 we read

     20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus. (NIV)


We don’t know that outcome of that story – the gospel writer doesn’t tell – but we can only assume that Jesus acceded to Andrew’s request. We know that Andrew was trying to bring people to the Saviour.


Is that our passion and desire – To bring people to Jesus? Or are we too timid too afraid of being rejected, fearful of being embarrassed.


I speak to myself. I have tried witnessing to some who have not responded and now I often don’t expect a response. “What is the point of speaking to So-and so that won’t come anyway!” Is that your experience??


Hopefully we can learn from Andrew – a man who was overshadowed by his more energetic and outgoing brother, yet he continues his own service to the master in a gracious and selfless manner. We remember Peter for his great spiritual exploits – but in eternity there will be an equally great reward for Andrew – the one through whom the whole story of Peter began.


A. Hubleman [presumably a minister in a London Church]. ” O for a church of Andrews!” I do not know that many ministers would want a Church of Peters: it would be too quarrelsome. I am quite willing for Thomas to go to the City Temple and for Simon the Zealot to go to St. James’. Let me have a church of Andrews – of simple, loving  men, content to bring people to Jesus. Men like him are so valuable because everyone can be an Andrew. Not a greatly gifted man, but a greatly faithful man; not a man who would dispute with Peter as to who should be primate, or with John and James as to who should sit on the right hand of Christ and who on the left, but a man who simply, humbly and lovingly does the work that lies nearest to him. He surely is of those last in the world’s estimate who are first in the Kingdom of God.




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