In this chapter Author Kyle Idleman deals with the story of Nicodemus in John 3. When Nicodemus first met Jesus was he a follower or a fan? The author makes a good case that Nicodemus started out as a fan but later became a follower.
Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin, who were the religious elite. He admired Jesus and believed that Christ was definitely sent from God. However, if he were to follow Jesus it would cost him dearly. Many of the religious leaders of that day would ostracize him. He would have to choose between a relationship or religion.
Following Jesus means that He will interfere with “our life.” It would eventually cost Nicodemus a great price. However, according to the author most people want Jesus without following Him.
Kyle concludes this chapter by asking a thought provoking question: Have you made a decision for Jesus or have you committed to Jesus? Jesus’ invitation was to follow after Him, to believe upon Him. Biblical belief leads to following Him, not merely a mental acceptance of certain facts. If we truly believe Christ, we will follow Christ.
Chapter 2 is another thought provoking read.
The author of the book “Not a Fan,” is emphasizing the difference between being a follower of Jesus and a fan of Jesus. He indicates that we often get the two confused, even though there is a big difference. The author says that many of us equate following Jesus with:
- Going to church
- Praying at a church altar
- Owning several Bibles
- Having their picture in the church directory
- Having a worship song as their ringtone
- Disliking Harry Potter
- Using the term “Bless your heart” before being critical of someone
However, he goes on to remind us about the people in Matthew 7. These individuals were doing all kinds of things “in Jesus’ name” but Jesus said that Jesus said He never knew them!
Pastor Kyle entitles the first chapter of his book, “D.T.R.” This stands for “define the relationship.” How do we really feel about Jesus? It seems that many of the people in Matthew 7 were only “fans” not “followers.”
Idleman then proceeds to define what he means by the word “fan.” He says a fan is, “an enthusiastic admirer.” This person is in the stands but never in the game. He knows who the players are but doesn’t know them personally.
He says that this carries over into many people’s perspective of Jesus as well. These people are safe in the stands, but they know nothing of the “sacrifice and pain of the field.” They know about Jesus, but they do not know Jesus.
Kyle rightly says, “But Jesus was never interested in having fans…’Enthusiastic Admirer’ isn’t an option.” He goes on to say, “…many of our churches in America have gone from being sanctuaries to the stadium where they cheer for Jesus but have no interest in truly following Him.”
In closing out Chapter 1 Pastor Idleman reveals to his readers that he is going to go through several Biblical accounts and reveal to us the method Jesus used to help people to see that they are simply “fans” and not “followers.” He begins in Chapter 2 with a man named Nicodemus.
Pastor Idleman provides an easy read with quite a bit of humor. However, the humor does not take away from the seriousness of the message that he is trying to get across. Jesus said there would be MANY who thought they were truly followers of Him and will be eternally mistaken (see Matthew 7). I look forward to how he handles this issue in the upcoming chapters.