by Peter G. Feenstra
Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:67–68
During His earthly ministry our Lord Jesus had many fans and numerous foes. There were those who were fascinated by His message and miracles and others were out to kill Him. Whether people hailed or hated Him was often determined by their own agenda. When the pressure was on, and Jesus was wrongfully condemned and crucified, the fans of Christ joined forces with those who hated Him. Those who shout, “Hosanna!” were the first to cry out, “Crucify Him!”
John 6 tells of a moment in Christ’s ministry when the fans become frustrated. They have a difficult time understanding what Jesus is trying to say in His discourse regarding the bread of life. First they respond by grumbling and complaining. They say, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” (6:61) Shortly afterwards many of Christ’s disciples turn back and no longer follow Him (6:66).
What happens during Christ’s ministry is typical of human nature. Just watch how quickly smiling fans turn on a team that falters! The cheers turn to boos!
These things make us reflect on what kind of relationship we have with the Lord Jesus Christ. Are we committed to Him as loyal followers or are we fans of Christ that turn on Him the moment circumstances become difficult? What does it mean to be a true disciple? Disciples of Christ do not follow Him for gain, wealth or better health. If that is how we view Christ we will quickly desert Him or become angry and disgruntled with God the moment He does not deliver what we want.
We do not follow Jesus for fame and favours. We do not worship as fans looking for good entertainment. In fact, being pupils of Christ could bring us suffering and hardship. Being a follower of Christ involves self-denial. It means work! It could mean losing friends and being alienated from family. Let us contemplate what Jesus is telling us when he says, “Follow me!” As you go through life, through the ups and downs of each day, be more than a fan of Christ. Live as a disciple and follow Him!For further information about this resource, click here.