Fans are very much caught up in an outward appearance. They think that somehow God is going to be impressed with their religious rule keeping or rituals or their traditions. There’s nothing wrong with those things, in and of themselves. The problem comes when we do those things and it’s not out of a pursuit of Jesus or a relationship with Him, but as a way to prove or measure our own spirituality.
The idea of the cross bing an insturment of pain and suffering, of torture and deth, of shame and weakness has been replaced by the cross of decoration and fashion. We print crosses on our clothing, we wear gold ones around our neck, we hang beautiful works of art on our walls – but we forget the true meaning of the cross. Jesus said, “take up your cross daily and follow me.” To the first century Christ Follower the cross was not a beautiful thing. It wasn’t used as artwork or decoration. The true idea of the cross was almost unthinkable. Jesus wasn’t asking us to take up some comfortable, padded, easy to carry cross. He is asking us to die to ourselves, to be obedient even to the point to physical death. It is time for us to put down our comfortable crosses and become followers of Jesus.
A mother knows her child in a way that is unlike anyone else. Not only does the mother know the child, the child knows the mother. This is a true picture of intimacy, of completely knowing and being completely known. This is how God desires to know us. Fans know about God, followers know God – and God knows them.
The word “anyone” often means anyone who meets the qualifications specified in the fine print. We have come to believe that anyone doesn’t mean everyone. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. ” (Luke 9:23) Who did Jesus mean when he said anyone? Did he really mean everyone? Even me?