Followers not Fans
“The Spirit can make life. Sheer muscle and willpower don’t make anything happen. Every word I’ve spoken to you is a Spirit-word, and so it is life-making. But some of you are resisting, refusing to have any part in this.” (Jesus knew from the start that some weren’t going to risk themselves with him. He knew also who would betray him.) He went on to say, “This is why I told you earlier that no one is capable of coming to me on his own. You get to me only as a gift from the Father.”
After this a lot of his disciples left. They no longer wanted to be associated with him. Then Jesus gave the Twelve their chance: “Do you also want to leave?”
What’s happening in this passage makes me think of sports. Namely football. Jesus is having a tough conversation with these people. Hard things for them to hear. It looks like this is the tough part of the game. It’s about the time when people start to leave the stadium.
These are hard things Jesus is saying.
And it makes me think of fans, and fans who are only fans when the team is winning. When things are going good, they stay. Those fans stay under the influence of the thing they like when its going great. Jesus is dividing fair-weather fans from followers here. Fans leave the game when it gets tough, followers stay till the end. Followers follow when its tough. Fans stay to be benefited by outward reward and blessing and leave when the flow has stopped. Followers are benefited by inward, outward and eternal reward because they remain under the influence of the relationship.
Moral of the story: don’t leave the game when it gets tough. Don’t bail Because you may not like what’s happening. Be a follower not a fan.
Good news is, if you have left the game there’s not a re-entry fee. The door is open, no questions asked.