Wherever Jesus went, there were three types of people around Jesus Christ: the crowds, the groupies, and the core.
Today we will look at the second of these groups: the groupies.
The groupies were the people that followed Jesus from place to place. Jesus would tell his disciples that they were going across the lake to preach at a different place, and groupies are the ones who'd look around and say, "Hey, Jesus and his disciples got into a boat and they've left." The groupies would then run around the lake to be waiting for Jesus when he and the disciples arrived.
The primary relationship Jesus had with the groupies was that of influence. The groupies wanted to be around Jesus and liked what Jesus had to say...to a point.
As soon as the teachings of Jesus became difficult and inconvenient, they would bolt.
The groupies of Jesus are ones who love who love the teachings of Jesus that deal with the love of God, the grace of God, the mercy of God, the salvation of God. But when Jesus goes deeper and starts talking about the cost of discipleship, that the way is narrow, that God doesn't want just a part of our lives, but all of life...when the teachings of Jesus are no longer convenient, the groupies desert Jesus.
You can find groupies at most church gatherings. They love all the positive teachings of Jesus. But once the teachings of Jesus start meddling with personal tastes and preferences, once the teachings of Jesus become inconvenient, the groupies drop away.
Where as the crowds were interested in Jesus as consumers, the groupies were influenced by the teachings of Jesus but the key distinction is one of convenience.
The thing that makes this so hard is that groupies tend to be good and nice people. They go to church. They attend worship. They look and act like disciples. But instead of conforming their lifestyle to the teachings of Jesus Christ, often times they conform their beliefs to support their lifestyles.
As someone rightly observed, "If Jesus is not Lord of all, Jesus is not Lord at all."
One final note about groupies. The Kingdom of God cannot be built by groupies. Because as soon as the Christian life becomes hard and costly, you can't count on the groupies to be present.
Crowds - Interest - Consumers
Groupies - Influence - Convenience