When I lived in Atlanta, during 1980s, I attended lots of matinee games of the Atlanta Braves. I considered myself a follower of the team of the city I lived in. I have since discovered that I was only a fan, not a follower, of the Braves. A follower is one is makes a commit that cost them something. A fan wants the benefits of a followers gets without the commitment or cost.
Maybe this will help you understand what I mean. During the 1980s, the matinee (afternoon games) ticket price for the nose bleed seats were very cheap, only $5. The attractiveness of attending matinee games was I paid only $5 for the tickets. During that time the Atlanta Braves was a dismal baseball team, so there was sparse attendance at any Braves games and even less at a matinee game. After purchasing a ticket for $5, we often were invited to sit in the box seats or those right behind the batter’s box so that there were people in camera view while batters were at the plate.
That sweetheart of a deal changed when Atlanta Braves in one year went from worst to first in 1990, and then became perennial winners during the rest of the time I lived in Atlanta. The ticket prices for a game, even the nose-bleed seats soared and I probably attended only 5 games after that happened; and that was because someone I knew had free tickets. So, all that time I thought I was follower of the Atlanta Braves, I was only a fan.
I think that true of Jesus. Many folks who think they are followers of Christ, are only just fans. They want all the benefits of being a follower of Christ without any of the discipleship, stewardship and commitment asked of followers of Jesus.
This week’s gospel text is about Jesus calling His first four disciples, four fishermen. These were men whose families, immediate or extended, no doubt were dependent on their skill and work catching fish. Yet, the left everything and followed Jesus. It was real commitment that cost them something. They were followers of Jesus, not just fans.
Join us in worship this week at Covenant as the scriptures confront us with this question “Fan or Follower of Jesus?” The way we answer it with our commitment says a lot about the kind of relationship we will have with God and others. As you probably have guest, my sermon is “Fan or Follower of Jesus?” The scripture basis for my sermon are I Corinthians 1:10, 17-18 and Matthew 4:18-23.