Two brothers, Clarence and Robert, committed their lives to Jesus in their youth. Clarence grew up and became a civil rights activist. Working for these rights was hard in the 1960’s. Racial tension was high. People staged sit-ins. Police used dogs and fire hoses to disperse them. Robert grew up and became a lawyer. One day Clarence asked Robert for legal help in a civil rights matter. Robert refused, saying it could hurt his political future. When Clarence asked him about his commitment to the Lord, Robert said, “I do follow Jesus, but I’m not going to get crucified like he was”. Clarence said, “Robert, you’re not a follower of Jesus, you’re only a fan.” Hopefully this little story prods us to ask of ourselves whether we are disciples of Jesus or only admirers. Admirers can proclaim him the Son of God and accept the truth of all his teachings, but they often don’t put them into practice, especially when those teachings would require some sacrifice of them. Disciples, on the other hand, live the way the Lord himself lived even when that requires great personal self-denial. In the “I” and “Me” world in which we live, putting other people and their needs first is not a popular lifestyle. “My Way” is the theme song of many in the world today. But that’s not Jesus’ theme song. If he had one it would be “You First”. Which song do we sing, and in singing it are we disciples or only admirers of the Lord?
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