There’s a great book out these days called “Not a Fan” by Kyle Idleman.

The title and the book makes a ton of sense – Jesus doesn’t just want “fans” he wants people who are fully devoted to him and follow him. I couldn’t agree more.

But last night I had a moment of confusion. I was a fan. Chris and I, our daughter, Marie and her friend went to a Denver Nuggets basketball game – with 17,000 other fans. The Nuggets were down by 5 points with 10 seconds left – and it was the 76’ers ball. No way we win that game. But we did. And the place went absolutely insane. People were hugging total strangers. Chris and I were high-fiving the people beside us, in front of us and behind us. It was one gigantic love-fest. We loved our Denver Nuggets. And we loved each other.

We were FANS! And “WE” won the game.

Only 9 Denver Nuggets actually played the game. None of us 17,000 fans played a second. We didn’t do anything, except yell and scream. None of those 9 players knew my name. None cared for or asked about me. So why do I honestly think that “We” won the game? Why did I and our family feel such a part of the win? There seems to be some kind of magic in being a fan. Something positive.

Maybe it’s like the crowds who followed Jesus. They weren’t committed. They were just fans. They were Jesus Groupies. Part of his large entourage. And he seemed to love them. To encourage them.

It’s constantly interesting to me that so many on my Facebook and Twitter like to point out that the Muslims, Jews and others who are saying they “love Jesus” aren’t really. Someone posted this morning that “unless the Muslim believes in the deity of Christ – he can’t be loving Jesus.” Really? Who says?

They’re a fan. Let them be a fan. Maybe they’re in the game – maybe not. But don’t rebuke them for being fans of Jesus. In the post-game interviews, all of the Denver Nuggets players thanked the fans. They didn’t say “Hey you knuckleheads, you weren’t even in the game. You don’t know how hard it is out here. So just shut up.” Of course not – they honored us. Almost made us feel like WE won the game and they were incidental. I love that.

Let’s be the same. Encourage the fans to follow more closely and see more clearly. But never make them feel like they’re on the outside, and we’re the only real followers!