By Yay Padua Olmedo

“It’s pretty easy to be a fan, says James Grogan, pastor of Eastlake Church in Chula Vista, California. ‘A fan’s investment level is shallow—tuned in now, tuned out any moment now. That’s how many people regard Jesus today.'”

Come to think of it, some treat Jesus like they’re watching a football game. Cheering, clapping, shouting, crying even, as they get all worked up and emotional during worship or prayer times.

But when the rubber meets the road, so to speak, one almost always caves in to what’s pleasurable and easy. So instead of zipping your mouth, you complain, slander or curse. Versus patience—agitation and intolerance. Desiring to be honest, you lie instead.

What is a fan? Literally, a fan is something used to produce a current of air. A fan is an enthusiastic devotee (as of a sport or a performing art), usually a spectator.

But Jesus didn’t die for all of us so we’d become fans—producing empty air or filling the stadium with glee.

We need to be Jesus followers, says Pastor Grogan.

Matthew 4:18-20, “Walking along the sea of Galilee, Jesus called Simon and Andrew. “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately, Peter and Andrew left their fishnets and followed Jesus.

It’s nice to be on the bleachers. Fans are mostly expected to shout, taunt, make faces, even curse and throw trash at athletes who bungle their shots.

Most so-called believers act similarly—clueless to their own shortcomings and constantly criticizing others for missing the mark.

But Jesus calls us to come down from our high perch—just like Zacchaeus the tax collector who climbed a sycamore fig tree to wait for Jesus to come by.

Jesus called out to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” He came down at once and welcomed Jesus gladly (Luke 19:5-6).

Zacchaeus could have remained a spectator.

How did the other “bleacher-sitters” react? Verse 7: “All the people saw this and began to mutter, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.’”

Luke further narrates in verse 8, “... Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.’” Fan turned follower.

Obeying Jesus costs. One may lose family, friends, property, riches, and die to old carnal desires to obey Jesus. But following Him makes you a winner! Just like stepping into the shoes of Stephen Curry, Tim Tebow and Manny Pacquiao combined—because you’re now on Jesus’ team.

He has never disappointed me, nor will He, you. I will never exchange the life I have in Jesus. It’s the best anyone can ask for, ever—in spite of the devil wanting to destroy what Jesus has started in me.

But see, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

If He is for you, who can be against you? (Romans 8:31)