The following is a note Pastor Jim Abernathy of the Westwood Baptist Church, Springfield, VA, sent out to his distribution list. I’ve been fascinated by the media attention to Tim Tebow and his play as Quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Of all the things I’ve seen written about it this is one of the better. Hope you enjoy it. RMF
What To Make Of The Tim Tebow Phenomenon
The New England Patriots and Denver Broncos will play football tomorrow evening in Foxboro, Massachusetts. It’s a playoff game and there will be a lot of hype surrounding the game. Don’t be surprised to see a fan in a Bronco uniform with the number, 15, somewhere in the stadium, with the name “Jesus” on the back of the jersey. Now, Jesus won’t be playing quarterback for the Broncos tomorrow evening, but there are some that think He’s somehow working miracles in the throwing arm of Tim Tebow. If you watched the Bronco’s victory over the Steelers last week, you might begin to believe that Jesus has taken a special interest in Mr. Tebow as he threw for two touchdowns and ran for another. Known for having “3:16”, a reference to John 3:16, painted on his face, he interestingly threw for 316 yards, 10 completions for an average of 31.6 yards per catch. His throwing style has been much maligned, with football purists denouncing him as a passing fad (pardon the pun) whose star will quickly fade. Others, however, believe that he is divinely inspired, empowered by God to do what no one thought he could do.
For his part, Mr. Tebow takes every opportunity to praise God, and to draw attention to his “Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” It seems that he doesn’t necessarily believe that Jesus is the source of his football success, however. I am glad to know that our Savior isn’t a Bronco fan, though some might believe the prophet Isaiah’s identity given him as the “suffering servant” would qualify him as a Redskin fan. I have found it interesting that Tim Tebow has received a great deal of support from purely secular sources, including the media, who recognize him as a genuine young man for whom there seems to be little, if any pretense. His religious expressions have been noted by columnists in the Washington Post as reasonable in the context of a professional game that has many different kinds of demonstrative expressions, religious and non-religious.
I’m not quite sure what to make of it all. I suppose Jesus would be a fine quarterback if he chose to be. Whether or not He empowers the arm of Tim Tebow, guiding his wobbly passes to streaking receivers, may be a mystery. Perhaps what’s more important here is not whether Tim Tebow succeeds or fails, and he will probably do both over the length of his NFL career, but that his faith in the living Christ remains strong, no matter the game’s outcome. Lots of players thank God when they win…my hunch is that Tim Tebow will be grateful to God, win or lose.