So, I am reading the book Not A Fan. The premise of the book is that Jesus does not want us to be fans (enthusiastic admires), but followers. And of course Chapter One begins with the question…“Are you a follower of Jesus?”
Before we get to that, lets talk a minute about the prologue. I am not big on prologues. It reminds me of preachers who when they are done preaching say a pray and then continue preaching. Just say it in sermon! Same thing with a prologue. Just say it in the book!
Anyway…back to the prologue of this book… We are reminded of the story in John of Jesus feeding the multitude. The folks were all about Jesus when they were hungry and he fed them, but things changed. Jesus said “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” Jesus is now offering himself. As the book says “Suddenly Jesus is the only thing on the menu.” Scripture goes on to say “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him'”.
Why those greedy little disciples. Didn’t they know who Jesus was and what he was offering? Do I? Is it Jesus that I want, or only what he can do for me? If it is Jesus, I have to be ready to do, not just receive. If it is Jesus, it isn’t about me. Am I a follower of Jesus?
The book goes on to talk about the difference between a fan and a follower. A fan sits of the sidelines and cheers, but walks away when there has been a difficult season. A fan is safe in the stands, not knowing the pain and sacrifice of the field. A fan knows about someone, but does not know them. Am I a follower of Jesus?
Do I cheer for Jesus in the safety of the sidelines, ready to change my allegiance if things don’t go my way? Do I like to be safe, not take the hard knocks of the filed? Do I know about Jesus, or do I know him? Am I a follower of Jesus?
The safety of the sidelines is a nice place to be. When I am there, I am with a lot of other people. There is safety in numbers. Not that many people down on the field. If I am on the field, they might boo me. They may not agree with a decision that I make. When I am in the stands it is easy to be a Monday morning quarterback. Yeah, I have been in the stands on many occasions. Especially when I don’t want to get dirty. Am I a follower of Jesus?
I can tell you a lot about Jesus, so can many of my friends in the stands. In fact we get together all the time and share stories about Jesus. But how often do we share our hearts that say I know Jesus? Am I a follower of Jesus?
“The biggest threat to the church (I would use the word kingdom) today is fans who call themselves Christians but aren’t actullay interested in following Christ. They want to be close enought to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires anything from them.” Am I a follower of Jesus?
I hope you have noticed that I have asked myself the question several times “Am I a follower of Jesus?” I think you have also noticed that I have not answered the question. Let me answer it by saying…I am a great Monday morning quarterback. I hate to admit that. I hate to admit that I am an enthusiastic admirer. I hate to admit that I don’t like to get dirty. I hate to admit that Jesus has a great cheerleader in me. I hate to admit that I am not a follower of Jesus. Forgive me.