Changing Direction | Fans vs. Followers
Jesus went out to the lake with his disciples, and a large crowd followed him. (Mark 3:7)
Look again at that word “followed.” If we were to have asked anyone in that crowd, “Are you a follower of Jesus?” they would have answered with an enthusiastic, “YES!” Many of them had followed him from village to village, sermon to sermon. They’d seen healings and miracles and it was all so exciting. Even demons ran screaming when He told them to. Who wouldn’t want to follow this rock star? But crowds never seemed to impress Jesus. In fact, He knew they weren’t followers; they were fans. Most would bail on Him in a matter of months (John 6:66). So what’s the difference between a fan and a follower?
Fans know some facts about Jesus and even feel affection for the parts they agree with: mercy, healing, feeding the poor… They may even like going to church, might be leaders. They know all the latest worship songs, love conferences that build self-esteem, and share Jesus-memes like they earned a dollar for each one. But they deftly sidestep those awkward verses about denying self, pursuing holiness, and crucifying the flesh. Nobody’s perfect, right? It’s so much more comfortable to stick with cheerful, encouraging verses that assure them they can have their best life now. Fans know a lot about Jesus, but Jesus doesn’t consider them His followers (Matt. 7:23). Followers not only know Him, they go with Him all the way to the cross.
Final Thought: Put yourself in that scene at the lake. Are you in the crowd of fans or are you a true follower?
Prayer: Jesus, this makes me uncomfortable, but I need to know the truth about myself. Where do I stand with you? Am I only a fan or am I truly a follower? Examine my life. I’m ready for the truth. I want to be a true follower. I surrender now. Amen.