The Gospel, Andrew, Tattoos

"Follow me and I will make you fishers of men."

"Follow me and I will make you fishers of men."

Upon encountering Jesus for the first time, Andrew immediately recognized Him as the messiah. He dropped his nets, his profession, and his livelihood and grabbed his brother Peter to go and follow Jesus.

For three years Andrew listened and learned and travelled with Jesus. He assisted personally with the ministry of Jesus. He was there during private moments of personal instruction. Andrew was involved and committed to the work and mission of the Messiah.

Fast forward to the end of the gospels and the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus. We get a peek into a few of the other disciple's thoughts and actions, but I wonder what Andrew thought when he saw that Christ was arrested, tried and then killed? According to the accounts of Matthew and Mark, we know that when Jesus was arrested, all the disciples fled. We know that his brother Peter hung around in the distance, but I wonder if Andrew hid in fear?

I'm not speculating from scripture, but considering what I would have done in the same situation. If I had followed someone and identified myself with them and their ministry, what would my reaction be to a swift arrest, trial and execution. What was Andrew's response? Did he (and the others) feared they would be next in line for the cross?

I wonder if Andrew ever felt like he had been duped. He gave up everything to follow Jesus and become a "fisher of men" only to end up with his leader being tried and executed as a criminal and blasphemer. Did it (even for a moment) cause him to second guess the previous few years of discipleship?

If so, his questions and doubts were quickly addressed within days as Christ began to make his appearances to the disciples and confirm that He was in fact alive! Then Pentecost and the filling with the Holy Spirit. All the disciples, Andrew included, received supernatural power and spilled out into the streets speaking in the dialects of all the pilgrims who were gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost.

Church history tells us that Andrew fulfilled his calling. He continued to fish for men throughout the near East and as far north as Russia. His eventual martyrdom took place in Patras, Greece. Legend states that when Andrew was crucified, he was bound on a cross and requested the shape of an X, so as not to find equality with Christ in death.

 Some of the relics of Andrew can be found in Patras, including his cross, but several of his relics are located in a cathedral in Amalfi, Italy. We had the opportunity to travel through Italy last month and although I do not subscribe to saint worship, I loved the opportunity to visit Amalfi and visit the tributes to my favorite apostle.

I was not named after the apostle. My parents did not have hidden plans for me to become an evangelist. At my birth I was named after my Italian grandfather: Andrew Carlino. However, my new life with Christ began with a simple invitation to follow Jesus and along the way I have found many people willing to listen to the GREAT NEWS that Jesus offers to us here, now and in the future. Like Andrew's brother Peter, some of those people continue to follow Jesus with me today!

Was it worth getting the tattoo? You bet. I have more discussions about the calling of Andrew and the good news of Jesus because of that tattoo. Here's the bigger question: Will it be worth an X-shaped cross? Pray for me that the answer will always be yes. 

Quietly making noise,
Fletch