|photo credit: http://michaelhyatt.com/|
"It's easy to be a fan," says James Grogan, pastor of Eastlake church, Chula Vista.
"A fan's investment level is shallow―easy to tune in and out."
Then he added, "That's how many people treat Jesus today."
Ooops, was he talking to me?
Come to think of it, it is fun to be a Jesus fan. Wonderful praise and worship at church every Sunday. Messages and lessons that make you go "Wow!" or teary-eyed. Emotional roller coaster rides as we praise and raise our hands to hail King Jesus.
And yes, we hit "like" and "share" and get all worked up inside when we encounter biblical sound-bites and inspirational videos on FB.
There's really nothing wrong with all doing all these. But if we think they're the essence of Christianity, then we've got it all wrong. Christianity is not a dress you wear on Sunday;it's who you are 24/7.
"Jesus didn't invite people to become His fans but followers," adds Pastor Grogan.
“Come, follow me and I will send you out to fish for people," Jesus said to Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew (Matthew 4:19)
|image credit: http://www.pgysa.bc.ca/|
Pastor Grogan: "Jesus is our Coach. He wants to develop us, take our talent and maximize it to fulfill His mission. As His apprentices, we must learn His ways, living for His purpose."
As Christ's disciples, we are not to just sit as spectators but allow ourselves to be at the center of His will, becoming more and more like Him as we get to know Him better as revealed by scriptures.
So go ahead, sing and shout and praise and worship. Have a great emotional experience. But don't stop there. Once you get out of church or your prayer closet, start loving like Jesus. Show compassion as Jesus did. Pray as Jesus did. Reach out to others as Jesus did. Share as Jesus did.
Change! That's what Jesus brings. Blind Bartimaeus cried out to Jesus and got his sight back; then he followed Jesus. The Samaritan woman encountered The Living Water and enthusiastically brought her community to Jesus.
Jesus had fans for sure. Multitudes went all agog and followed Him wherever He went. Thousands got to enjoy His meals for free.
But these same people who cried "Hosanna!" when Jesus was entering Jerusalem likewise shouted "Crucify Him!"
As we go deeper into Holy Week, ask yourself: Am I just one with the multitude, raving for, then hating Jesus; or like Peter and Andrew, am I really His follower?
Am I just going through the motions of religion; but when push comes to shove, do I deny or disobey Him?
Paul realized the result of Christ's mission―our reconciliation with the Father; and that he needed to do as Christ: "We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God's good news but our own lives too" (1 Thessalonians 2:8).
Are we His, in words and in deed?