Kyle Idleman’s book, Not a Fan, is one of my favorite books to date. The way he uses the fan/athlete example of professional sports in explaining the difference between the fan and the follower of Christ is perfect. There is an old question that floats around evangelical circles that asks: If you were arrested for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?There would be if your name were Simon Bar-Jonah.
People often label Peter as the bad Christian or the unruly child. While this may be true to some extent, when we measure the evidence stacked against Peter with the evidence of our own conversion, we may be quite disheartened with our findings. Let’s look at the evidence that the Gospel of Mark provides.
Guilt by association
When Jesus was taken to the palace Peter was hiding beneath the castle warming himself. Mark 14:67 tells us that one of the maids walked up on Peter and immediately recognized him. She tells Peter, “and thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.” Peter was found guilty of Christianity due to his associations with those of the Faith. When is the last time a co-worker or neighbor associated you as a follower of Christ because of those you fellowship with?
Guilt by appearance
The next example comes in 14:68 when the woman sees Peter again. This time she tells the others around her. “This is one of them!” She may have passed it off the first time as Peter denied his association with Jesus, but the next time she seen him there was no mistake. Even his appearance gave away the fact that he was a Christian. When was the last time someone accused you of being a follower of Christ due to your daily walk and how you carry yourself?
Guilt by speech
Being from Galilee means you had an unmistakable accent. In Jerusalem it would be like someone from Tennessee speaking to someone in the Big Apple. There would be no doubt that the Tennesseean was from the south. Those standing around claimed Peter was one of them because “even thy speech agreeth thereto”. Mark 14:70 When was the last time someone told you they have to act differently around you because they know by the way you talk that you are Christian and they don’t want to say bad things around you?
Follower of Christ or Fan?
It is very easy to spot a fan of Jesus. Fans will go to great lengths to prove they know everything there is to know about Jesus but their lives will not be a reflection of that knowledge. In contrast, a true follower like Peter can go to great lengths to hide the fact that he is a Christian but the evidence against him will convict him every time. Are you guilty of Christianity? Or are you just another Jesus enthusiast?