An image of a man and woman in orange football jerseys cheering with their arms raised - Jesus Fan or Follower
Spiritual Growth - Living a Life of Faith

Are You a Fan or Follower of Jesus?

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When it comes to your walk with God, are you a fan or follower?

What? A fan or follower…of God??? Yes, when you get right down to it. So which do you think you are? You may not think there is much distinction, but there is a significant difference between the two! Read on to learn which describes you!

An image of a man and woman in orange football jerseys cheering with their arms raised and below the image is text that says Are You a Fan or Follower of Jesus?

The Difference Between Fan or Follower

Most people wouldn’t think there was much difference between being a fan or follower. After all, when you are a follower of something or someone, aren’t you also a fan? Yes, usually that is the case when you examine it from that perspective.

However, when you flip it around, you can be a fan of something or someone without being a follower.

I will use a sports analogy to illustrate.

Football Fan or Follower

My husband and I are AVID New England Patriots fans! We love the team and never miss a game!

My husband can not only tell you the name of every single person on the team but he can tell you their height, weight, and where they went to college.

Ok I will let you in on a little secret; not only can he do that with the Pats but with every other team in the NFL. He has a photographic memory for stats and he really takes an interest in football in general. I am not quite that well versed in their stats but I do know quite a bit about them.

My husband is engrossed in every draft! It is like a holiday in our home, as is the first day of both the pre-season and the regular season. When the Pats make the playoffs and/or the Super Bowl…forget it!

So my husband and I are fans, but we are also followers.

We know everything about them, follow them closely and they are a big part of our lives. It doesn’t matter whether they win or lose, we will be there watching every single game, every single season. Even our house keys are Patriots themed!

Fans, on the other hand, may like the team, may watch the games, and may know some of the players. They may come out in droves when the team makes the playoffs and the Super Bowl but they don’t follow every detail of the team.

They may even stop watching for a while if the team is not doing well (or when Tom Brady goes to Tampa). After all, they don’t want to spend their day watching their team lose!

Fans can be fickle where followers are loyal and embrace it as part of their lives, come good or bad.

For instance, a fan of a hamburger chain may love to eat their burgers until a new chain opens up that they like better. Then they may stop going and instead frequent the new place. However, a follower is a fan that sticks with it even when something else rolls around!

The difference is loyalty and commitment.

Fans can be fickle, while followers are loyal! Click To Tweet

Peter – Fan vs Follower of Jesus?

Let’s look at Peter for a moment. Was Peter a fan vs follower of Jesus?

Most people would definitely call Peter a Jesus follower, but was he?

On the surface he appeared to be. He did ‘follow’ Jesus almost everywhere. But, like fans of football, Peter bailed when Team Jesus appeared to be losing.

Luke 22:54-62:

Then they seized Yeshua and led Him away and brought Him into the house of the kohen gadol (High Priest). But Peter was following from a distance.

Now they had lit a fire in the center of the courtyard and sat down together, and Peter was sitting among them. Then a servant girl saw him sitting at the fire. She looked straight at him and said, “This one was with Him too!”

But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I don’t know Him!” A little later, another saw him and said, “You too are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!”

And about an hour later, another began to insist, saying, “Certainly this fellow was with Him, for he too is a Galilean!”

But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” And immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.’

And Peter went out and wept bitterly.

TLV (Parentheses mine)
An image of a rooster crowing at dawn and Luke 22:60-62 quoted from Tree of Life

When Jesus was arrested and a girl pointed at Peter claiming he was one of Jesus’ followers, Peter denied even knowing Him. In fact, He denied Jesus three times and ran.

To him, his team had not only lost, it had been dismantled! He may have thought at that moment that it had all been for naught. He certainly wasn’t going to put his life on the line for what he now must have considered a total loss.

Jesus went to the cross with one follower out of the twelve; John. John followed Jesus to the cross and beyond.

John 19:26:

When Yeshua saw his mother and the talmid (disciple) whom he loved standing there, he said to his mother, “Mother, this is your son.”

cjb (Parentheses mine)

The rest were fans at that moment in time.

Now those fans soon BECAME followers after the resurrection! But when they thought everything was falling apart, when they thought Jesus was just going to die and that was the end of the story, they gave up.

They lacked loyalty and commitment, which they did eventually gain (and took that loyalty and commitment to the point of death themselves) after they saw the resurrected Yeshua.

When it comes to Jesus, are you a fan or follower? Click To Tweet

Are YOU a Jesus Fan or Follower?

So I ask you again; are you a fan vs follower of Jesus?

Are you someone who makes Jesus a Sunday part of your life but then, once you get home from church you put Him and your Bible up on the shelf until next Sunday or do you make Him a day to day part of your life?

Do you live as though Yeshua is a member of the family and plays a part in every decision in your life (because He IS a member of the family!)

Do you waver in your commitment to Him when life gets tough? When it seems like your prayers aren’t being answered, do you question your faith? Or do you stand on His Word, steadfast and trusting that He is working in your life for your good and for His glory?

An image of a beautiful black woman and her daughter sitting on a couch with notebooks like they are writing or studying and text that says Bible Study Methods - Learn to Study the Word for Yourself - 7 Ways in 7 Days, advertising a Bible Study course

Do you proclaim your faith without wavering, no matter what anyone thinks of you? Are you willing to walk away from things in your life that you hold dear because they are not pleasing to God?

Mark 10:29-30 says:

“Amen, I tell you,” Yeshua replied, “there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for My sake and for the sake of the Good News, who will not receive a hundred times as much now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and property, along with persecutions; and in the olam ha-ba, eternal life.

tlv

Do you believe in Him and incorporate Him into all areas of your life, no matter what the odds or what the cost? Have you fully surrendered all to Him, regardless of what you may have to give up or what old habits you may have to walk away from?

Are you willing to give your marriage, your home, your children to the Lord and welcome Him into all parts of your life?

It IS possible to be saved “just enough” but never have a deep, close, personal relationship with God. He wants you to follow Him, no matter what the sacrifice and no matter what the cost.

Are you a fan or follower?

It IS possible to be saved "just enough" but never have a deep, close, personal relationship with God. He wants you to follow Him, no matter what the sacrifice and no matter what the cost. Click To Tweet

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CJB - Taken from the Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, 6120 Day Long Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029. www.messianicjewish.net.

Tree of Life (TLV) - Scripture taken from the Holy Scriptures, Tree of Life Version*. Copyright © 2014,2016 by the Tree of Life Bible Society.  Used by permission of the Tree of Life Bible Society.

26 Comments

  1. I absolutely love this! As an avid sports fan, myself, this is a great illustration. I’m a fan of Jesus, but I’m a raving follower, too! Great post, as always!!!!

  2. I love visiting here, Diane. You do such a good job of setting up a discussion and then examining the issue from all angles. Blessings to you as you continue to share words with the world!

  3. Wow, Diane! What a powerful message. Putting our relationship with God into terms most of us can understand (fan/follower) made me think. I want to be a follower, not just a fan!

  4. Love this perspective of fan or follower! I pray that in my following Him that there will be fans that will see how much better it is when you follow Him!

  5. Thanks for this great post Diane! I love your use of Scripture here. Tweeted and pinned. Thanks for hosting the link-up and for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

  6. So true! This reminds me of a Bible study I just went through on 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, where we compared professional and hobby athletes. It was eye-opening for sure!

  7. Our Auburn University quarterback Jarret Stidham just got drafted by the New England Patriots. I don’t suppose he’ll be playing the position for awhile though. 🙂 I definitely want to be a full-on follower of Jesus! Thanks for the encouragement, Diane.

    1. Ah War Eagle! My favorite college team!! Hopefully he’ll get to play!! Thanks so much Lisa!

  8. Hi Diane!

    What I love about Peter and the male disciples is that even though their actions demonstrated Jesus fanship, their example shows us it is never too late to become a follower, and Jesus will still accept those who convert from fans to followers.

    I also love that the true followers of Jesus who stuck through to the Resurrection were women 🙂

    Thanks for hosting the linkup, and I can’t wait to read some of the other blogs linked up!

    1. Hi Carrie!! That’s so true! It’s yet another demonstration of how no matter what happens in your life it’s never too late to follow Jesus. Thank you for visiting and for linking up!

    1. Thank you Maree!! I know that feeling of waivering at times. Thankfully there is always grace!!

  9. Thanks a lots for your materials, I am using your material to share the kids in my kids bible study.
    God bless!

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