Saint Andrew was one of the twelve disciples who followed Christ during his ministry. He also proclaimed the Good News of the Kingdom of God after his death as an apostle. He first encounters Christ as a follower of Saint John the Baptist. But, after hearing Saint John’s words about Christ, he believes and leaves to follow “the Lamb of God.” And, in further conversation with him, Saint Andrew understands that this man is the Messiah. The first thing he does is go to his brother, telling him what he has found and bringing him to this teacher. Then Christ, in simply meeting this brother, renames him Peter (who is Saint Peter).
In the seven verses that make up this account in the Gospel of Saint John, we learn a great deal about Saint Andrew. First, he was already looking for the Kingdom of God. This had led him to be a disciple of Saint John the Baptist, and he was listening carefully to his words. More than that, Saint Andrew believed what he was told. When he hears, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”, Saint Andrew immediately follows Christ and spends the day with him. And, once he is convinced that this man is the promised Messiah, his next action is one of love—he goes and calls his brother.
There’s an interesting juxtaposition between the action of Saint Andrew and those who later promise to follow Christ once they’ve put there affairs in order (to which, Christ’s reply of, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” is still sobering). First, Saint Andrew acts in love. He has found what he has been looking for and he needs to share that with his brother. Second, he goes to bring another the Good News. In this way Saint Andrew is the first person to ever preach the Good News. And, lastly, the Holy Spirit is at work in this action. In bringing his brother, he is affirmed by Christ’s words that he has presented Saint Peter, the Chief of the Apostles.
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This icon of Saint John the Baptist is in the Conestoga style and created primarily out of that region’s local colours and materials. The original icon resides in a private residence in Prince Edward Island, Canada.