John the Baptist had a disciple named Andrew. When Jesus walked by John’s location one day, Andrew and another disciple left John the Baptist to follow Jesus. It only took a few hours for the two disciples to recognize that Jesus was the Messiah. Andrew’s first reaction? Go get his brother, Simon!
And he brought him to Jesus. -John 1:42a
Our culture often belittles the person who connects one entity with another.
“Don’t shoot the messenger.”
“I’m just the go-between.”
“Let’s eliminate the middle man.”
In God’s economy,
there’s a special purpose
for the middle man.
Sometimes to reduce cost, sometimes to remove complications, we try to go directly from Point A to Point D. Think Sam’s Club or outlet stores. But in God’s economy, there’s a special purpose for the middle man.
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, Andrew often served as a middle man. He brought the boy with five loaves and two fishes to Jesus before Jesus fed 5,000 people (John 6:8-9). He introduced some Greek guys to Jesus just before that final Passover (John 12:22).
Jesus was worth it.
On the same day he first followed Jesus, when he ran to get Simon, Andrew didn’t have all the answers. He couldn’t have imagined all that would happen in the next three years. He didn’t even know what the next day would bring. The uncertainties didn’t matter because Jesus was worth it.
“Come see who I met!”
When Simon and Andrew got back to Jesus, the first thing Jesus did was rename Simon, calling him Peter (1:42b). Yes, that Peter…the Peter. From this moment on, Andrew faded into the background as Peter became more and more prominent among the disciples. Andrew didn’t seem to mind. He realized that Simon’s faith actually had nothing to do with him. He was just the middle man.
When we share Christ, when we tell our God-stories, when we talk about faith issues, we try to make it about us, but Andrew never wanted the attention for himself. He always led people to focus on Jesus. Let’s get comfortable as the connector, the middle man (or woman) in the Kingdom.
For whom is God calling you to be the middle man?
Jesus so often turns cultural values on their heads (e.g. last shall be first), and this is another example. Let’s celebrate the real hero of our stories: Jesus! I’d love to hear from you in the comments.