His bronzed face was streaked with tears. He held the scaly fish in his hand and remembered the words that had changed his life: "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19). The words echoed in his ears like the wind on a stormy sea, "Follow me. . . " Like a net swiftly thrown into green, cresting waves, the words captured his heart.
The voyage had begun when Andrew heard John the Baptist boldly preaching the coming of Messiah. The waters from which Andrew drew his livelihood were filled with a repentant multitude of people who were obedient to Johns command of baptism and eager for forgiveness. Johns passion for the Messiah stirred hope within Andrews heart. Thoughts of the coming kingdom gave Andrew something to look forward to as he wearily cast his net into the Sea of Galilee. That he might see the Deliverer of Israel was a dream too wonderful to imagine.
Yet the day arrived when John proclaimed, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" (John 1:36). As Andrew spoke with Jesus, he knew that this teacher was from the Lord. Just as a strong tug on the fishing line indicated a great catch, the tug on Andrews heart was evidence that he had come in contact with the living God.
Andrew immediately told His brother Simon and brought him to where Jesus was staying. When Jesus beckoned them to follow, both he and Simon immediately left their boats, nets, and everything they knew to seek the one who would make them fishers of men.
It had been so simple while Jesus was alive. Just like Andrew harvested fish from the waters onto the deck of his boat, he would seek the lost and pull them toward Jesus. The Savior would do the rest. It was such a joy to bring others to Jesus and see their lives change before his eyes.
Andrew began to understand that principle when Jesus was on the mountainside preaching to the multitude. The teacher was concerned that the people were hungry, so when the familiar aroma of fishes caught Andrews attention, he took action. He felt the rough tunic between his fingers as he pulled the little boy towards Jesus. "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish," he called out as he approached the teacher (John 6:9). Miraculously, Jesus fed the great crowd with the boys small offering. Nothing was impossible for the Messiah.
Yes, it had been simple while Jesus was alive, but Andrew was as discouraged as the others when the teacher died on the Cross. When Jesus was crucified, Andrew no longer knew where to bring the people who sought hopewho sought the Messiah. The boat he thought would lead to salvation seemed to have sunk beneath the raging waters of politics and stale religion. Jesus was gone. What good was it to be a fisher of men, if there were no Messiah to bring them to?
But the Crucifixion was not the end. The Resurrection proved that Jesus was alivethat He had conquered death. After a night of fruitless labor, the resurrected Messiah appeared to the frustrated fishermen and told them to cast their nets into the sea. When they did, the number of fish they caught was so great that they were unable to hoist the nets aboard. At that moment Andrews mission was clear: continue bringing others to the Savior, and the Lord would do the rest. As Andrew held a fish from the mornings miraculous catch in the palm of his hand, the tears on his face joyously expressed the calling he had accepted: "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19).
Andrew spent the rest of his life bringing people to the Savior. History records that Andrew carried the Gospel to Scythia, Greece, Asia Minor, and Thrace, and died by crucifixion. Andrew was mighty in spirit, but not because he was a great orator, miracle worker, or preacher. Andrew was mighty in spirit because he knew that the one thing people need most is to meet the Messiah. The fishermans faith led the lost to the Savior. Today, the most poignant manner of ministry remains the same: bring people to meet Jesus, and the Lord will do the rest. Follow His call, and He will make you a fisher of men as well.