Fan or Follower?
The book “Not a Fan” has already called more than one million readers to consider the demands and rewards of being a true disciple–moving from fan to follower in their relationship with Jesus.
After years of serving God, pastor and bestselling author Kyle Idleman had a startling revelation: for too long, he had been living as a fan of Jesus; someone who tried to make Christianity seem as appealing, comfortable, and convenient as he possibly could to others. Idleman decided something had to change–he needed to embark on the journey of becoming a completely committed follower of God, not just a fan.
Fans want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close it requires sacrifice. Followers are all in and completely committed to Christ. The book “Not a Fan” gives you the tools to determine exactly where you stand when it comes to your relationship with Jesus.
Examine your relationship with God.
Determine if you’re following Jesus or just following the rules.
Pray the way Jesus prayed.
Start truly living for the One who gave His all for you.
Feeding the five thousand
John 6:2 – Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.
John 6:66 – From that time, many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
John 6:1-4 – After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. 3 And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. 4 Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near.
Then a great multitude followed Him: This miracle OF FEEDING THE MULTITUDE (5000) is also recorded in the other three Gospel accounts. Luke mentions that on this occasion Jesus went out to a deserted place to be alone (Luke 9:10), yet the crowds followed Him there. In spite of this imposition, Jesus still served the multitude with great compassion.
The Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near: John is the only one of the four Gospel writers who told us this took place near the time of the Passover. Perhaps this great multitude was made up of Galilean pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem.
So John makes the supernatural and prophetic connection of everything that follows here to Passover.
Passover is associated with the Exodus and God’s miraculous provision of providing manna in the wilderness. Jesus would soon sustain this multitude in their small “wilderness” with bread from heaven – both literally and spiritually.
Old Testament passages warn against doubting God’s provision: Yes, they spoke against God: They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?” (Psalm 78:19)
John 6:5-6 – Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” 6 But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.
WHEN GOD ASKS YOU A QUESTION, IT’S A BIG DEAL
ADAM: Where are you?
Moses: What’s that in your hand?
Jonah: How’s this being mad thing working out for you?
Elijah: What are you doing here in this cave?
Ezekiel: Can these dry bones live?
John 6:7-9 – Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.” 8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”
Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat? Perhaps Jesus asked Philip this question because he was from Bethsaida (John 1:44) and this was near where this miracle took place (Luke 9:10).
Philip’s knowledge of the situation was accurate and impressive (two hundred denarii is more than six month’s wages), but his knowledge was useless in getting the problem solved.
He is thinking in terms of money and how much money it would take to carry out God’s work in a small way
John 6:10 – Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.
You could say that Jesus here fulfilled the role of the loving Shepherd in Psalm 23:1-2. He makes me to lie down in green pastures.
That Psalm also gave the picture of the Lord as a host, serving a meal to His servant as a guest: you prepare a table for me…you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over…I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever (Psalm 23:5-6).
The men sat down, in number about five thousand: Jesus administered everything in an orderly way. Yet, they had to come under Jesus’ order to receive Jesus’ miraculous provision. The ones who came under Jesus’ order would soon be filled to the full.
He is starting to put them in order. He is starting to tell them what to do. He is starting to make them get with His program, at first in such a simple way
John 6:11 – And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.
. He distributed them to the disciples: Jesus relied on the labor of the disciples in this great miracle. He could have created bread and fish in the pocket or bag of every person, but He didn’t. Jesus deliberately chose a method that brought the disciples into the work.
Jesus refused to miraculously make bread to feed Himself in the wilderness temptations; but He did for others and with others what He would not do for Himself.
John 6:12-14 – So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” 13 Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
Truly this is the Prophet. Moses predicted the coming of the Prophet they expected: The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear (Deuteronomy 18:15). If the coming Prophet was to be like Moses, it made sense that he would also feed the people miraculously as Moses did.
The miracle of multiplication through the brokenness of division.
The miracle of finding yourself in an unexplainable encounter with God because You chased Him down, seeking him in a much harder place then where you have found Him before.
What’s coming right after all this?
A defining moment of commitment where you have to change from a fan to follower.
A defining moment is a point in your life when you’re urged to make a pivotal decision, or when you experience something that fundamentally changes you. Not only do these moments define us, but they have a transformative effect on our perceptions and behaviors.
Are you going to bail when things get crazy?
Or are you going to decide you have no other place to go but forward in Jesus.