Andrew Apostle known as steady worker in background

Andrew was in the forefront at the beginning, then worked quietly in the background.

But he was always there.

He was there when John the Baptist pointed out Jesus to him. He was there to introduce his brother Peter to Jesus. He was there when Jesus ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives. And, afterward, he was there to minister to the people of Scythia, which is why he’s the revered apostle in Crimea.

“Scythia is where Crimea is today,” John “Bud” Traylor says. “According to tradition, Andrew ministered there before going to Scotland.”

Traylor is a former president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, served as an interim president of Louisiana College in Pineville and was a longtime pastor at First Baptist Church of Monroe. He’s the interim pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Baker.

Andrew’s story usually begins with his fishing days. It’s told in the Gospel of Matthew 4:18-22: “And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’”

That’s how it’s told in the New King James Version. The story ends with the fishermen immediately leaving their nets and following Jesus.

“But before Andrew met Jesus, he was already a devoted disciple of John the Baptist,” Traylor says. “God sent John the Baptist to call people to repentance so they would be able to recognize Jesus.”

John the Baptist pointed out Jesus to Andrew and another follower in the Gospel of John 1:35-40, saying, “Behold, the Lamb of God.”

“Andrew and the other follower spent the day with Jesus, and then Andrew found his brother Peter and brought him to Jesus,” Traylor says.

Peter was known as Simon at the time. John 1:42 cites how Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter, meaning “the rock.”

Andrew seems to step into the background after the introduction of his brother.

In their fishing business, Andrew and Peter were partners with John and James, who also were called as disciples.

They employed hired hands, and they were industrious, but they willingly left their business in the hands Zebedee, father of John and James.

From there, Andrew is quiet, emerging at different times to introduce people to Jesus.

“He is always bringing people to Jesus,” Traylor says. “First, his brother, and later the boy with the loaves and fishes when Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount.”

That story can be found in John 6:8-12: 8: “One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, ‘There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?’ Then Jesus said, ‘Make the people sit down.’ Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks he distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, ‘Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.’”

While Andrew was a Jew, his name is Greek.

“The name ‘Andrew,’ like other Greek names, appears to have been common among the Jews from the second or third century B.C.,” states the Catholic Encyclopedia at The encyclopedia also mentions that Andrew is Greek for manhood or valor.

“Andrew means, ‘manly,’ and if I were preaching a sermon about him, I would say that Andrew introduced people to Jesus, and introducing people to Jesus is the manly thing to do,” Traylor says.

Philip was the only other disciple whose name had Greek origins, and when some Greeks approached him about seeing Jesus only a few days before Jesus’ crucifixion, “Philip referred the matter to Andrew as one of greater authority, and then both told Christ,” the Catholic Encyclopedia states.

The story is found in John 12:20-22. “From what we know of the Apostles generally, we can, of course, supplement somewhat these few details,” the Catholic Encyclopedia continues. “As one of the Twelve, Andrew was admitted to the closest familiarity with our Lord during his public life; he was present at the Last Supper; beheld the risen Lord; witnessed the Ascension; shared in the graces and gifts of the first Pentecost, and helped, amid threats and persecution, to establish the faith in Palestine.”

Once again, he was always there, quietly working in the background, always bringing people to Christ.

Tradition has it that Andrew was crucified in the city of Patras, Achaea on the northern coast of the Peloponnese. He wasn’t nailed but bound to an X-shaped Latin cross, now known as St. Andrew’s Cross.

Andrew, as would his brother Peter, deemed himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus. Peter would later ask his persecutors to crucify him upside-down.

As for Andrew, the X-shaped cross, or crux decussata, would become part of the iconography of his martyrdom. But before his death, it’s said he traveled to the territory of Georgia, where he was the first Christian minister and founded the Georgian church.

Cyprus tradition states that Andrew came to that country when a ship on which he was riding accidentally came ashore. A monastery was built on that spot in the 12th century and is now a church.

In Romanian Orthodox Church tradition, Andrew preached in the province of Dobroja, and in the Ukraine, St. Andrew’s Church of Kiev stands where, according to legend, Andrew erected a cross, where, he said, a Christian city would stand.

And then there’s Scotland, where the saltire waves as the national flag. The saltire is St. Andrew’s cross, and Andrew was named Scotland’s patron saint in the 10th century.

Legend has it that Andrew’s relics were brought to Scotland at Constantinople’s direction, located in the city of St. Andrew. Andrew also is considered the founder and the first bishop of the Church of Byzantium and author of the apocryphal Acts of Andrew. His feast day is observed on Nov. 30.