The Master’s men - Part 4 Andrew, James and John Mathew 10:1 to 4
INTRODUCTION to the topic and contextual background Before chapter 10, Mathew’s focus was on Jesus’ public ministry. In Mathew 10, he directs his attention to Jesus training of the 12 . apostles. For the past 3 Sundays, We had learned about their conversion, their training and their weaknesses in general. We learned that this chapter is all about the 3rd phase of Jesus training of these twelve men which is their internship. We had an overview of the 12 apostles, and we learned about how God choose 12 ordinary men to spread the Gospel message. We learned all we can from the list of their names found Mathew 10:1 to 4.Last Sunday, we learned about the first person on the list, Simon Peter theleader of the Apostles. We learned how God transformed this fickle mindedindividual into the leading apostles which brought great glory to Him. Today weare going to examine the next three apostles in the first group.
Up close and personal: ANDREW – The “behind the scenes” apostleName: Andrew (Greek: Andreas - which meansmanly)Former Occupation: Fisherman .Residence: A native of Bethsaida and latermoved to Capernaum and lived with hisbrother PeterRelationship status: UnknownKnown family Relationships: Father: John(Jonah), Brother – Peter, an apostle as well.Note: Together with John, they were formerlya disciple of John the Baptist. (John 1:36,37)Was the one who introduced his brother Peterto Jesus. Was called to be a “fisher of men”by Jesus together with his brother Peter.
Although belonging to the first group who was the closes with Jesus, Andrewwas not as close to Jesus as the other three, who were considered asbelonging to the “inner circle”, the apostles Peter, James and John. Andrewnever wrote an epistle and there are only three instances wherein we seeAndrew mentioned in the Gospels and from here we can glean what type of .person he was1.) John 1:37-42 tells us of Andrew’s previous discipleship to John the Baptist,his confession of Jesus as the Messiah, and his reporting to Peter his discoveryand introducing him to the Lord. From his first encounter with Jesus, Andrewdemonstrated an eagerness to introduce others to His Lord.2.) John 6:5-9 in the feeding of the 5,000, although confused with Jesus initialquestion, Andrew helped to locate food for the crowd. Andrew’s bringing theboy to Jesus suggests that he believed his Master could somehow make moreof this small amount of food.3.) John 12:20-22 – Shows Andrew bringing others to the Lord. When someGod-fearing Gentiles came to Philip asking to see Jesus, Philip asked Andrewto accompany him to approach Jesus.
LESSONS WE CAN GLEAN FROM ANDREW’S PERSONALITY - Open and lacking of prejudice, brought aboutthe fact that he is the apostle who is alwaysmentioned bringing somebody to Christ- Simple but strong faith. We do not know whatwas in his mind when he brought the boy with theloaves and fish to Jesus, but he obviouslybelieved Jesus could make use of the boy and hisfood.- Andrew also appears to have been humble. – In the Gospels and in hisministry later on Andrew was mainly known as Peter’s brother, and he wasnever as intimate with Jesus or used by Him as publicly or dramatically as washis brother, Peter. Though part of the first group, Andrew seemed always to bein the shadow of Peter, James, and John. Yet there is no indication that he everregretted this. He was content simply to serve Jesus. Yet God used this behindthe scenes, silent, humble apostle to somebody with a strong personality likePeter to Jesus.
AT THE END OF ANDREW’S LIFEChurch tradition states that the ApostleAndrew preached along the Black Sea as faras the Volga, Kiev and Novgorod. (Areas inEastern Europe and Russia.Andrew is said to have been martyred bycrucifixion at the city of Patras, Greece)Andrew crucifixion is described as him beingbound/nailed to an “X” shaped cross (called asCrux decussata or saltire now commonlycalled as St. Andrew’s Cross supposedly at hisown request, as he deemed himself unworthyto be crucified on the same type of cross asJesus had been. Andrew is said to have forhung in the cross for two days, where hecontinued to witness to those who passed by.
Up close and personal: JAMES– The FIERY apostle Name: James the son of Zebedee, (Name not of Hebrew origin, Hebrew/Greek name is Jacobus, variant of Jacob which means Heel . grabber) Also known together with his brother as “Boanerges” or “Sons of Thunder” traditionally as “James the greater” to distinguish him from James Alpheus Former Occupation: Fisherman, businessman (fishing partner with their father Zebedee who seems to be a little well off as they employed hired servants in their business. (Mark 1:20) Residence: Capernaum Known family Relationships: Father: Zebedee, Probably the older brother (As he was always mentioned first of John an apostle, known as “John the Beloved.”
So little is said of James the son of Zebedee in the Gospels. We know that Jesusreferred to the brothers James and John as “Boanerges, which means, ‘Sons ofThunder’” (Mark 3:17), and from that descriptive name we can assume James waspassionate, zealous, fervent, and aggressive. Here are some passages whereJames is mentioned in the Gospels .1.) Luke 9:52-54 – Tells the story where Jesus sent several disciples ahead tomake arrangements for lodging en route from Galilee to Jerusalem. On the way,they would need to spend a night in Samaria. Jews and Samaritans had greatreligious and racial animosity for one another, and when the Samaritans refused togive accommodations to Jesus James and John said to Him, “Lord, do You want usto command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”2.) Matt. 20:21-22 – Records the account where the mother of James and John,asked Jesus to grant them seats on either side of His throne in the kingdom, theLord asked them, “Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” Withouthesitation they replied confidently, “We are able” Whether they instigated theirmother’s request or not, they obviously thought it was perfectly appropriate. Theyhad no reservations about their deserving the honor or their ability to meet anydemands it might make of them.
From a human standpoint James and John displayed more natural reliability thanPeter. They were not as vacillating and were not given to compromise orequivocation. But they were brazenly ambitious.Zeal is a great virtue, and the Lord needs those who are fearlessly aggressive. Butzeal is also prone to be brash, loveless, insensitive, and lacking in wisdom.Insensitivity can destroy a ministry, and James had to learn to bridle his ambitionand to love.AT THE END OF JAMES’ LIFEWhen Herod wanted to destroy the new church, he singledout James for arrest and execution. It was only after he sawthat the murder of James pleased the Jews that Herodarrested Peter also (Acts 12:1-3). To Herod, James seemedto be the most dangerous. Because of his fierceness hebecame the first apostolic martyr and the only apostle whosemartyrdom was recorded in Scripture. According to traditionthe Roman soldier who guarded James was so impressedwith his courage that he knelt at the apostle’s feet, beggingforgiveness for his part in the execution. James is said tohave forgiven him. The soldier is said to have been somoved by James’s compassion that he publicly confessedChrist and was beheaded alongside the apostle.
Up close and personal: JOHN– The apostle of loveName: John, (Yoḥ anan in Hebrew, which is acommon name and means “Yahweh isgracious”) Also popularly known as “John the .Beloved.” Traditionally known as John theEvangelist or John the Apostle.Former Occupation: Fisherman,businessman (fishing partner with theirfather Zebedee who seems to be a little welloff as they employed hired servants in theirbusiness. (Mark 1:20)Residence: CapernaumKnown family Relationships: Father:Zebedee, Probably the younger brother (Ashe was always mentioned next to James thegreater”
Because of his eventual gentleness as he writes in his epistles andhow he is described in the Gospel, we are sometimes inclined to think of Johnas being naturally retiring and mild mannered, perhaps even somewhateffeminate. But in his early years he was fully as much a “Son of Thunder” as .James. He joined his brother in wanting to call down fire on the unbelievingSamaritans and in seeking a position next to the Lord in the kingdom. LikeJames, he was naturally intolerant, ambitious, zealous, and explosive, thoughperhaps not as much as James. John was the first to recognize the Lord on the shore of Galilee andwas the first disciple to see the risen Christ. Although frequently mentioned inthe Gospel alongside the Peter and James, John is mentioned alone in theGospel in only one single instance and that is in Mark 9:38 where he told Jesusthat he saw someone casting out demons in Jesus name and that he stoppedthe person because he was not one of the disciples. To which Jesus instructedhim not to stop the person because if he is not against them, he is for them. Inhere we can John appeared prejudiced and sectarian.
Throughout his life, John remained uncompromising in doctrine and instandards of morality, but the Holy Spirit developed in him an unparalleled capacityfor love, so much so that he is often called the apostle of love. In his five NewTestament books John uses forms of the word love eighty times and witness or itssynonyms some seventy times. Love without certain standards or strongconvictions is a spiritual disaster. Truth guarded his love, and love surrounded histruth. Tradition tells us that John did not leave the city of Jerusalem until Mary the mother of Jesus died, because the Lord had entrusted her into his care (John 19:26). The Lord said to Peter, “Tend My sheep” (John 21:17); but to John He said, in effect, “Take care of My mother.” John had a special love that Jesus knew would lead this disciple to treat Mary as his own mother. AT THE END OF JOHN’S LIFE Scripture reports that John was banished to the small and barren Isle of Patmos (Greece) in the Aegean Sea, off the west coast of Asia Minor where he wrote the Book of Revelations. Traditionally he is said to have died naturally sometime in A.D 98 - 100 and is said to be the only apostle who lived to an extreme old age.
CONCLUSION These were three men with ordinarytemperaments, ordinary strengths and weaknesses,and ordinary struggles. Yet in the power of Christ they .were transformed into men that turned the world upsidedown. It was not what they were in themselves but whatthey were sovereignly and willingly made to becomethat rendered them such powerful instruments in theMaster’s hands. The fishermen of Galilee became fishers ofmen on a vast scale, and in God’s power they gatheredthousands of souls into the church and played a vitalpart in the salvation of millions more. Through thetestimony of their lives and writings, those fishermenare still casting their nets into the sea of mankind andbringing multitudes into the kingdom if God.