Recently, I read a great book, Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman. The premise is that many people call themselves “followers” of Christ, but in reality they are more of a “fan.” Fans have a tendency to confuse their knowledge for intimacy. They don’t recognize the difference between knowing about Jesus and truly knowing & following Him. These may be regular church attendees; they may attend Bible studies; they may give money and do good deeds regularly… but they don’t know Jesus intimately. I’ll be honest, this book really challenged me as I asked myself, “Am I a follower of Christ, or am I more of a fan?”
At the end of Jesus’ Sermon On The Mount, He gives us some direction on what this looks like. A true follower of Jesus Messiah takes a pathway which He describes as narrow. This pathway, Jesus continues is to not just listen to His teachings, but to follow Him (which means actually living out His teachings).
I certainly want to be more than a fan of Jesus. But, I also want to be more than a follower! I’ve come to understand that being a Christian is actually more than following Jesus; it is being an apprentice of Jesus! According to dictionary.com, one of the definitions of an apprentice is “a person legally bound through indenture to a master craftsman in order to learn a trade.” Let’s take a closer look at what this means for us:
- “a person legally bound” – When Jesus was on the cross, one of the last things He said was, “It is finished.” In the original Greek that the New Testament was written in, the word He said was, “Tetelestai,” a legal term that literally means, “paid in full.”
- “through indenture” – This is a type of contract. Jesus’ death & Resurrection allows anyone who would follow Him to enter into this type of relationship with God. It’s called covenant.
- “to a master craftsman” – Genesis 1 depicts God as the Creator of all, Psalm 139 affirms that we are “fearfully & wonderfully made,” and Ephesians 2 reaffirms that we are the result of God’s creative workmanship!
- “in order to learn a trade” – Jesus is perhaps most famous for saying, “Come. Follow me.” This is a phrase the rabbis said to the new students that they selected (called “talmudim” or “disciples”). Literally, this was a rabbi’s way of saying, “Come, learn to do what I do.”
Jesus call to each one of us to follow Him isn’t simply a desire for us to follow Him around and cheer Him on, but to learn to do what He does… and do it!
Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)
Yeah... you just read that right: "even greater things!" Who's in?