Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Mile Wide And An Inch Deep

A mile wide and an inch deep talks about shallowness and that's something we all want to avoid, right? Jesus is looking for followers and not fans. Fans tend to be a mile wide and an inch deep. Any given Sunday in the fall at Lambeau Field there will be several thousands of fans who tend to be a mile wide and an inch deep. Crowds can be fickle, can they not? They roar with approval one minute and thunder with anger the very next minute.

On that first Palm Sunday, there were plenty of fans. There were shouts of "Hallelujah" and "Hosanna" as Jesus entered Jerusalem. The crowd loudly hailed Him as a public hero shouting "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord". Amazingly, just a few days later, many of that same crowd were shouting "Crucify him!" Wow!

Therein lies the difference between fans and followers. Fans lack commitment and turn aside for the slightest excuses. Followers commit to the long run no matter what the circumstances. Jerusalem had both on that Palm Sunday and we have both today. Fans cheer loudly when everything is going their way, but when the time comes to make the commitment, where are they? The fans were there at Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem but where were they a few days later at the place of the cross when Jesus was being crucified? The closer to the cross Jesus got, the fewer the followers there were. Here are some differences between fans and followers:

1. Fans focus on personal comfort and followers focus on commitment. In other words, if Christianity makes me feel good, fine. If not, forget it. Commitment says, "Jesus, though all else forsake you, I will never turn my back on you."

2. Fans want regular blessings and followers commit to disciplined living. For fans, it's "provide everything I want and I'll really serve the Lord. Followers say, " In all things, I know God is working out His will and I will serve Him in any and all circumstances.

There were some in that street, that first Palm Sunday, who were followers. They listened to His teaching and accompanied Him to the place of prayer. Yes, for a short time they stumbled and for a time they doubted, but they were true followers. They obeyed by waiting and praying and after they received the infilling of the Holy Spirit, they spent the remainder of their lives getting closer to God and spreading His Word wherever they went. Up North Wisdom asks, "How about you, friend? Let's commit to being faithful followers and not fickle fans." The best is yet to come! Believe it. Have a blessed Easter.


  1. Pastor Jerry,
    I particularly love this part of your entry
    "Yes, for a short time they stumbled and for a time they doubted, but they were true followers." It's good to know that even when we do stumble or doubt, that doesn't negate our following of Him. For His grace truly is sufficient.

  2. Great post. I hope I am a consistant follower and not a fickle fan. Disciplined living...hmm...still working on that one.