Encouragement From The Word

Imitating Andrew

“There’s no Scot like a Scot abroad,” as the old saying goes, and there will be plenty of them sporting tweeds and tartans today.  Why?  Because it’s November 30:  St. Andrew’s Day.

Andrew is best known as the patron saint of Scotland, but there’s far more to him than that.  (He’s known as the patron saint of the Byzantine church, too, but we won’t tell our Scottish friends that, will we?)  If you look at the Scottish flag, it looks like a white X on a blue background.  But it’s not about “X marks the spot”.  Traditionally, it is believed that Andrew, one of Jesus’ first disciples, was crucified on a cross that looked like an X, rather than the traditional ‘t’ cross on which Jesus died.  Why?  Because, it is said, he didn’t feel worthy to be crucified on the same kind of cross as his Lord.

So even the national flag of Scotland gives us an indication that there must be more to Andrew than meets the eye.  What does the Bible say about him?

The short answer is, “not much.”  We know he was the brother of the more famous disciple, Peter.  We know he was a fisherman.  And we know that when Jesus called him, he responded without hesitation:  “One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living.  Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”  And they left their nets at once and followed him” (Matthew 4.18-20, NLT).

Really, that is Andrew’s claim to fame (whatever the Scots may say!):  he followed Jesus without any reluctance whatsoever.  And, if tradition is correct and he was crucified for his faith in Christ, then he gave his all, to be sure.

How about us?  We can celebrate this day with neaps and tatties or haggis or tartans or tweeds, but let’s truly celebrate the day by offering our unwavering devotion to the Lord Jesus, who has called us out of darkness into his marvellous light.  Put Jesus first.  You won’t regret it.