Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.” Mark 10:17

Ever hear of the term DTR, define the relationship?

For instance, a couple dating for a few years goes out for coffee and the girl asks, “Are you going to propose or what?” She is wanting to define the relationship.

Jesus is having a define the relationship moment with this rich young ruler.

Let’s get some background on the text and I’ll show you what I mean.

The title “good teacher” was never applied to other Rabbis in Jesus’ day, because it implied sinlessness, a complete goodness.  Jesus and everyone else recognized that He was being called by a unique title.  Only God was called “good” by ancient rabbis.

Jesus isn’t denying His diety. Instead, He invited the young man to reflect on it, to really think about what a relationship with God Almighty would look like.

I love how Jesus doesn’t teach us what to think but how to think.

To answer the guys question about eternal life Jesus has to DTR (define the relationship).

The man wanted to know what to do.  His idea of the relationship was earning and deserving.  If he only knew bowing down at the feet of Jesus put him a breath away from eternal life, it was up close and personal.

Jesus drives his point home by asking him about obeying some commandments. If you notice the commandments he points out are the last five dealing with relationships with other people.

The guy gets that. He probably had an amazing network of friends and family.  You could say he was a genuine people guy, liked by everyone. Today, he would probably have a couple thousand followers on Twitter.

The outcome of this conversation indicates this young man didn’t want a Savior, he wanted to save himself.  He didn’t want the relationship with Jesus as God. His actions defined the relationship.  He was a fan of Jesus, he was a fan of church, he was a die hard fan of moral values, but he wasn’t a follower of Jesus.

There is a difference.  Fans are in the stands and players are on the field.  Jesus isn’t looking for fans, he is after followers.

Let’s put it another way.  Think about these words: “No, Lord.” How can we say no to the Lord, ruler of our lives?

Let’s go even deeper still.

Pat Holland (amazing speaker, author and minsister, check her out) prays the names of God.  The first time I heard her do that I was blown away.  She had this personal connection to each name, it meant something to her in a very real and personal way and very evident.

She wasn’t calling out the names like some rote, same ole same ole prayer.  They were relational names she personally experienced.  She was having a define the relationship moment with God!

Let’s think about this question personally.
There were times I have went to the altar. I would call out to a Good God , a Faithful God, a Merciful God for wisdom. Then I would hear what he wanted me to do, things like forgive, have mercy, let it go, humble yourself, give till it hurts afterwards I wasn’t feeling the whole “good” part.

After a few days of going back and forth with God about the step He was wanting me to take He asked me “Why do you call me Faithful? Why do you call me Merciful? Why do you call me Good?”

It was sobering. You see I was a fan. With that question God was calling me out of a crowd of fans to be a follower. He was wanting me to define the relationship.

Today, let’s take a moment and define the relationship, are we fans of Jesus or are we followers of Jesus?

What kind of relationship does God want from us and what kind of relationship do we want from Him? As ministry leaders are we creating fans or followers?

Q4U: What are marks of a fan and of a follower?