For many sports fans and armchair spectators it is a sadness that both EURO 2008 and Wimbledon are now over.
It is a curious thing that there are in fact “fans” to be found in the New Testament. I came across a story in Mark’s gospel of a man who surely has to qualify as one of Jesus’ greatest fans. I counted up 5 things that really do make him a prime candidate for the title of Jesus’ #1 Fan.
Here they are: he runs up to him, he falls on his knees, he calls him very politely and respectfully “good teacher”, he has kept the commandments since childhood and now he is seeking to know the most important thing of all:
“What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10 verse 17).
However, Jesus’ response is such that the man walks away with a sad face. Did Jesus not like the man? Well, we know that Jesus did like the man in fact it says that Jesus “looked at him and loved him”.
So what was the problem? Well in a word this man was more of a “fan” than a “follower”. The problem that can attach to being a fan, and it was the case with this man, was that of making idols of people or things. This man’s true idol was his money. Jonah in the Old Testament could have saved that man and ourselves too a lot of unnecessary trouble and helped him to lose his idols and love the Lord Jesus alone:
“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. … Salvation comes from the LORD.” (Jonah 2 verses 8-9).