Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's Okay to Be One of the "Others"

Simon Peter, Thomas (called "Twin"), Nathanael from Cana of Galilee, Zebedee's sons, and two others of His disciples were together.
(John 21:2)

Today I was reading this passage about Jesus appearing to His disciples by the Sea of Galilee after His resurrection (John 21:1-14). I noticed something. Seven disciples are gathered together, but only 5 are identified. What about the "two others"? Commentaries note that these were probably Philip and Andrew.
Andrew is one of my favorite people in the Gospels. He met Jesus first and brought His brother Simon to meet Him. Then Simon became Peter, a leader of the group. And, apparently, Andrew was fine to move into the background. We have no record that he ever said, "Wait a minute, brother. I know that you are a leader and all, but you wouldn't know Jesus if I had not introduced you. Show me some respect." Andrew didn't do that; he accepted his place (and his brother's place) in God's plan.

Andrew also appeared when Jesus fed the 5000. Andrew brought the boy with the loaves and fish. Andrew paid attention to children. How else could he have known about the boy with the food? Apparently Andrew was approachable; the boy must have felt comfortable talking with him and coming to Jesus with him.

And now Andrew with a group of disciples was just one of the "others." We know lots of what Peter did; we don't know much about what Andrew did. I think that Andrew recognized his place as a "background player" and worked to fulfill his place as one of Jesus' disciples.

As a kindergarten Sunday School teacher, I often feel like one of the "others." Not many people pay attention to what I do in my classroom. The preschool and children's ministry is not a showy part of my church's ministry. Most of the time at church, I talk with kids and listen to stories about pets or school or soccer games. The pastor--or anyone else--rarely (if ever) asks my opinion about anything. Sometimes it seems I'm just in the background of my church's ministry, just one of the "others."

But I wouldn't want it any other way. God has called me to be in a kindergarten classroom. That's what I want to do and that's where I belong. I love stacking blocks to build a temple. I enjoy listening to a child tell me what he painted. I get excited as a child turns pages in the Bible and finds Jesus' name. I treasure each marker drawing and sticky hug I get.

Not everyone can be Peter. Someone must be Andrew, listening to the children, tossing out the nets, and being in a background, supporting role. I'm thankful I'm one of the "others." Because it's just the place God wants me to be.

Verse Printed by Bryson
Photo by R. Scott Wiley


  1. Thanks for your comments on my blog, and very wise words on yours as well. Some of us need to be Andrews, or "The Others", i don't know if you meant to reference Lost, but nicely done sir.

  2. I did not plan the Lost reference - but did notice it after I reread the post. Appreciate the comments.