Jesus feeds about 15,000 people. He uses 5 kaiser rolls and 2 small fish. He ends up with leftovers.
For the people present, it was amazing. They were stuffed. They were thrilled. They decided that he must be The One. They decided to make him king.
They were fans.
Jesus knew how to respond. He sent his disciples to the boat, to the lake, to the other side. And he headed for the hills. He headed for some solitude.
When it was dark and the crowd was asleep and his disciples were in the middle of the lake, he walked out to them. They got to the other side, near home.
In the morning, the crowd realized that Jesus wasn’t there, that they weren’t getting breakfast. They went home, too. And they discovered Jesus.
“When did you get here?” they said.
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
And then Jesus started to talk about living bread. In the next few hours, in a couple places, he talked about manna and bread and blood. He talked about what he really came to do.
And the crowd thins out. Some say, “We knew your family. You aren’t so big.” Some say, “You are upsetting what we’ve always been taught.” Some just can’t handle the fact that he’s calling on them to do something, to believe differently, to follow him.
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
Jesus had fans and Jesus had disciples.
- The fans were there to be entertained and fed.
- The disciples were there to become like Jesus.
- The fans were there because they loved when his worldview agreed with theirs.
- The disciples were there because they loved his worldview.
- The fans were there because other fans were there.
- The disciples were there because they had started when no one else was around.
- The fans were an audience.
- The disciples were the backstage crew.
- Fans say, “do that again.”
- Disciples say, “teach me to do that.”
- Fans say, “That’s dumb.”
- Disciples say, “They’ll probably kill us, too, but let’s go with him.”
- Fans come and go as convenient
- Disciples live with you.
And of the two?
Disciples change the world; fans just change their rss feeds.
For more on the story, “after it goes great” and “gifts“