Jesus wasn’t looking for fan, he was inviting followers. We have spent the last 6 weeks examining this from many angles, however in a congregation our size it seems there are always some who hold on to the idea that being a fan of Jesus is what we do here. We are really missing something if we get from scripture that we are merely to believe or behave. Jesus’ disciples certainly did believe and behave, but that isn’t what made them disciples. They followed!
What’s the difference? At what point does believing or behaving become following? That’s a fantastic question and I’m really glad you asked it. The answer is much too long for a little column like this one, so I would suggest that you go back and listen to Joe’s messages on the church website. Get a copy of the book “Not a Fan” by Kyle Idleman and read it. Most of all, pray. Examine your life and ask God, “When I did this thing today (be specific) was that the actions of a follower or a fan?”
Let me offer this for you to think about: in Mark 10:32 Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem. This takes place just before Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion.
“They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished and those who follower were afraid.” NIV
When you follow Jesus daily you will certainly have many moments were you are astonished at what he is doing in your life. You will also find yourself afraid, not the kind of fear that reveals a lack of trust but instead the kind of fear that leaves you no other choice but to fully trust in Jesus. Jesus will often lead you to places that will make you uncomfortable – places you would not go on your own.
Please, please, please don’t let this series fade into a distant memory as a nice sermon series that meets your expectations for a quality worship service and message. Make a conscious examination of yourself through the lens of scripture, narrated by the Holy Spirit. Determine to be a follower and put away the selfish ways of religious fandom.