Summary: The Pharisses called those lining the streets on Palm Sunday Jesus’s followers, but were they?

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It was a party, everyone was there, it was a celebration, the video clip you just watched was from Jesus Christ Super Star 2001 and I love the Palm Sunday scene, it captures the excitement and joy of that day. There was a sense of anticipation and expectancy in the air, people knew that something was happening and they wanted to be a part of it. As Jesus rode into town the crowd went wild cheering him on and laying a carpet of their coats before him. He was the one that the prophets had spoken of and now he was riding into their town. Karen read the story earlier in the service, how the people welcomed Jesus into their town, how they proclaimed his greatness and their loyalty. And yet it was all short lived. A week later instead of crying “Hosanna”, the crowd was yelling “Crucify him”. Seven days after they yelled “Bless the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” they hollered “We have no king but Caesar.”

So who were these people who were so fickle? Let’s go back to the scripture Luke 19:39 But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!” The Pharisees were Jewish religious leaders and they saw Jesus as a threat to their own authority and they identified those who lined the streets that day as “Followers of Jesus.” But were they? Were they really Christ Followers? Christ Follower is a term that I try to use instead of Christian because Christian today means very little, it means that you’re not a Hindu, or a Buddhist, or a Muslim but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you follow Christ, It simply means you don’t follow anyone else. But were those who were cheering that day, were they followers of Christ? This morning I want to look at what it means to be a “Christ Follower”

The first thing you have to understand is that Being a Christ follower means you realize who Christ is. And I guess in the same breath we would have to say that you realize who Christ isn’t.

I’m sure that day there were those in the crowd who were simply caught in what was happening, perhaps if you had of been eavesdropping you might have heard someone yelling hosanna, hosanna and then turning to the person next to them and asking, “What’s going on?” and the other person would have said “We’re welcoming Jesus to town.” And the first person would “Cool, who’s Jesus?”

Or perhaps they only knew of Jesus through the press releases, you know. “Carpenter heals leper” Or “Man from Galilee feeds 5000.” They knew the surface things about this Jesus but they really didn’t know him.

There are people out there today who know of Jesus but they don’t necessarily know Jesus. You understand the difference right? You can know of someone without really knowing them. I was in a home in Bedford last year that had a portrait of the Queen in the hallway and I noticed other royal paraphernalia scattered around the home, collector plates and books, you know what I mean. It was fairly obvious that at least one member of that household did not share my view of the Monarchy. They were probably quite familiar with Liz and Phil, knew all there was to know about Chuck, Anne, Andy and Ed. But I wonder if they actually knew them or if they only knew of them?

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