Monday, 28 April 2014

Fan or Follower

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  Luke 9:23 NIV

IF Jesus had a Twitter account would you follow His Tweets?  If so you might be a fan, someone who was an ardent admirer of His.  In fact there are those who read the Bible, pray, and/or attend church with some regularity who could be considered fans.  As a fan we are a spectator, who at most has an emotional investment in the success or failure of the person to whose fan club we have joined.  A follower however is invested emotionally, physically and perhaps financially.  They have, in many cases, devoted their life to emulating the person who they are following, they want to be just like him or her.  For example, Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous architect, had followers, i.e. men and women who followed Wright’s principles for designing a building.

It would not take someone with a Doctorate degree in Neuroscience to see where this discussion is headed.  Many of us are merely a fan of Jesus.  We accept that He was an incredibly moral human being, a righteous man, and a wise teacher.  Some of us even attempt to quote some sayings attributed to Him like, “money is the root of all evil”.  Which is NOT what He said.  But the real question is do we want to follow Him, to “deny ourselves and pick up our cross daily and follow Him”?

Following Jesus is difficult, following Jesus in the context of marriage raises the bar to a new level. 1Corinthians 7:28 tells us “…But those who marry will face many troubles in this life,…” This is not a passage that is quoted during most wedding ceremonies.  For starters, we must acknowledge that we are self-centered which is why Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny himself…”  No one knows us better than the person we are married to.  No one sees our flaws as quickly as the one to whom I said “I do”.   Different life experiences coupled with gender and personality differences can make living with another person difficult.  Sadly our true self is more apt to come out in the confines of our own home than in public.

Back to our central theme – are you a follower of Jesus?  Would your husband/wife say you are a follower of Jesus?  Being a fan merely requires saying good things about Jesus.  Being a follower requires our willingness to be transformed by His Word, to yield to the Holy Spirit, to put our spouse ahead of ourselves, and to sacrifice for the good of others.

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