We tend to answer this question very fast a lot people in here would immediately say yes and that would be the end of the answering. To some this question will feel redundant and maybe even unnecessary. But the reason I am asking every one this question is this.
Are you a Fan or are you a follower
Earlier I mentioned a few things that we as humans are big fans of.
Like Star Trek, Star Wars, a television series, and sports. And there are a lot of other activities that are out there.
I am going to dvid the church into two categories and want to see if either on of these groups apply to you.
The “Jesus fish on the Back of my car” group:
The “Jesus fish on the back of my car” group
serious enough about your faith that you shop in the christian section of the book store.
The question “are you a follower of Christ” seems rhetorical
The “Why is there a fish on the back of my friend’s car”
Skipped over the question “are you a follower of Christ” all together
So where do we start in determining if you really are a follower of Christ?
The D.T.R stands for Define the Relationship
In College i had a girl friend who I was dating and in the first week or the relationship she wanted to know where this was going.
I got scared and that relationship ended fast.
Now what would happen if you went into a coffee shop or a restaurant like sweet boys. and all of the sudden Jesus walked in and sat next to you. Pray really quick for your food because you for got to bless it. And right before you start up a conversation with Jesus Jesus looks at you and skips the small talk and says “It’s time we define this relationship”
Is your relationship with him exclusive? Is it just a casual weekend thing or has it moved past that? How would your relationship with Jesus be defined?
We can call ourselves Christians.
but there are a lot of Christians out there and even in here how would have difficulty defining there relationship with Christ.
And what I am meaning is they are more fans then they are followers.
Fans meaning “An enthusiastic admirer”
Its the guy who goes to the football game with his chest painted and never misses a game and cheers the loudest out of everyone. Never breaks a sweat for the work that he does. if his team is doing well. But once they are not he still will go to the games but not cheer as loud.
or its the person who cannot go throughout their day without reading or watching their favorite show or magazine. where they know more about the actress or actor than anyone else in the world maybe even more than individual themselves.
Jesus was never interested in having fans. When he defines what kind of relationship he wants, “Enthusiastic admirer” is not an option. My concern is that many of our churches in America have gone from being sanctuaries to becoming stadiums. and every week all the fans come to the stadium where they cheer for Jesus but have no interest in truly following him. The biggest threat to the church today is fans who call themselves Christians but aren’t actually interested in following Christ. They want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires anything from them. And we here at Carter Lake Road Church of Christ we are no exception.
So fan or follower?
by now you may have answered the question “I’m a follower” What makes you so sure.
Are there sections of your life labeled off limits or does Jesus have all access?
1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. 3 In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5 One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” 7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” 9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’ ” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.
This story a lot of people have read and have understood that Jesus and God will take care of like they did back in the old testament with the people of Israel with the manna
the next part of the chapter I want to skip and go to the next section.
25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” 41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— 46 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.
This passage Jesus is getting a little more intense in his teaching talking about signs and bread.
And his disciple asking I have seen these signs and “bread from heaven always give it to us.
And the Jews there started to grumble when Jesus said that he was the bread that came down from heaven.
The difference between Fan and Follower
60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” 66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
This is hard teachings Who can accept this?
The teaching of Jesus the man that they have been following Jesus for some time, who have seen miracles of Jesus who have been in his presence, and they are saying we can not do these things.
in 66: From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
Then he turns to the 12 and says to them what about you do you want to leave too.
And they stay.
even though one was still there who was going to betray Jesus.
Even people who were following Jesus for a long time were ultimately fans of Jesus cheering him on as he does his work.
The gospels record many different examples of people having the D.T.R talk with Jesus and the question “am I a fan or am I a follower” has to be answered.
Being a follower of Christ means that everywhere that we go we be a mirror and the reflection of God and Jesus should be reflecting off us.
I have a friend who called me a few days ago and he told me two stories that did not make since to him. the first was about a member of the church is no longer going to that church and he called up at the office to let them know, and the reason why was because of my friends sermons. This confused my friend and he called the man up to see what he meant and how he could improve. he called and the man answered and he was shocked that my friend called him about the situation. And as they continued talking he said the reason I don’t like your sermons is because it seems that you are just interfering with my life. and hung up. now my friend was very confuse because the man just wanted to sit in church sing a few songs and hear a lesson maybe get a nap in and leave and go to lunch but he did not like the fact that my friends sermon was challenging how he was living his life.
The second story is the same friend was asked to guest speak at another church, and a college kid came up to him and told him. “hey I don’t go to church anymore because its fake. But I really enjoyed what you said. My friend asked what do you mean its fake. The college kid explained, back home my father is an elder and on the way to church he would be cussing out my mom and have a bad attitude about everything but once he got out of the car it was like another person he would smile and say God is good all the time and all the time God is good. but once service was over and back home he acted like before. And that is an elder of the church.
Fan of Follower
Many of us say that because we go to church or I’m to old or I’m to young, I’m to shy, I don’t know what to say gives us an out when following Christ. But like I said earlier Jesus is not interested ing Enthusiastic admires. He is interested in having followers. Don’t make this place into a room of tradition and stadium seats. Learn here and do out there. this is not a 4 hours a week thing. This is a 24/7 deal.
If you are want to stop being that fan in the stands all their doing is cheering, and actually get on the field and get your hands dirty, be that mirror that God wants you to be. We are here for you as together we stand and sing.