I was reading Mark 1 this morning and noticed two very distinct groups of people described. The first group is the disciples. We see Jesus call Simon and Andrew and then James and John. Simon and Andrew literally abandon their fishing nets and follow Jesus; James and John literally abandon their father and follow Jesus. The second group is the mob. Jesus begins to perform miracles by healing people and casting out demons. As a result, “his fame spread everywhere” (Mark 1:28). By the end of the chapter Jesus could no longer openly enter a town and people were flocking to Him from everywhere.
With this second group I picture a modern day scene similar to a famous actress or athlete being followed by paparazzi and mobbed for autographs. Or maybe it was more like the Beatles in their heyday or like the Pope this past week visiting America. However it was, there was an intense interest in what Jesus was doing and there was an extreme desire to see Jesus and be near Him.
What stuck out to me this morning was the question posed by Pastor Kyle Idleman in his book Not a Fan – am I a follower or a fan? The disciples were followers – they abandoned everything and went with Jesus everywhere He went. The mob was most likely filled with fans – they were keenly interested in Jesus, but from more of a reserved sit back and see how this goes vantage point. When things got tough the fans faded away. Fans are fickle.
“When things got tough the fans faded away. Fans are fickle.”
Many of us are just like this with our money. A few people embrace the reality that God is the owner of everything and their lives and use of money reflect this belief – these people are followers. The rest of us love the idea of living in a way that embraces the truth that God owns it all, but when things begin to get tough we retreat and return to our old habits and behaviors – these people are fans.
Do you believe that God owns it all? Does your life exhibit that belief? If somebody looked at where you spent your money, would they believe that you are a fan or a follower?
At the end of Jesus’ life we see the disciples as some of the few people still following Him and believing in Him. The fans are gone and in many cases have turned against Jesus. The disciples had abandoned everything for Jesus because they believed He was who He said He was. The mob abandoned nothing and hedged their bets hoping Jesus would be something that benefitted them.
“We remember the followers of Jesus, but nobody remembers His fans.”
We remember the followers of Jesus, but nobody remembers His fans. I want to live a life worthy of remembrance. I believe that until I get my heart right with my money and whose it is, I will have a hard time being anything other than a fan. Let’s get our hearts right with who owns our money and let’s be willing to use it however God directs us – it is not yours anyway. The world doesn’t need any more fans – let’s fill it with followers!