If you are a sports fan, you are very familiar with Tim Tebow. If you are not a sports fan, the chances are still extremely high that you are still familiar with Tim Tebow. The story that used to be reserved for ESPN and Fox Sports has now spilled over into the national news and is capturing the attention of people who have never watched a football game in their lives.
Tebow has been thrust into the public spotlight for a number of reasons. He came onto the scene as the phenomenal college quarterback who led the Florida Gators to a national championship and was the recipient of the coveted Heisman trophy.
Then he entered the world of professional football becoming the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos. The “haters” appeared immediately. Tebow was criticized, his athletic ability was questioned and many said he could not make it in the NFL. Sports commentators have passionately debated Tebow’s NFL potential and lines have been drawn in the sand. As an avid ESPN/Sportscenter viewer, I have watched Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith battle it out verbally over Tim Tebow.
Well, week after week this season, the Denver Broncos pulled out miraculous wins. Tim Tebow has led the Broncos to the NFL playoffs and will be playing against veteran Tom Brady and the New England Patriots this weekend. It seems that all of America is talking about this Cinderella story starring Tim Tebow and…Jesus!
In case you don’t know, the one aspect of Tim Tebow that has received the greatest amount of ridicule and criticism is his unwavering commitment to Jesus Christ. I have heard interview after interview and Tebow is always careful to share gratitude and give credit to Jesus. He goes so far as to refer to Jesus as “his Lord and Savior.” I try to imagine the pressure he must receive from agents, P.R. reps, team reps, coaches, teammates, etc… who urge him to “cool it with the Jesus stuff” – he hasn’t backed down one bit! Tebow’s devotion as a believer is exposing an entire nation not only to football, but to Jesus Christ!
I think Tim Tebow makes us nervous because he is so bold and outspoken about his relationship with Christ. He puts most of us to shame in sharing our faith. We know that if we had the type of public platform that he has, we would not be so passionate about sharing. There would be fear of inconsistencies that would be discovered in our lives. We know that people would be discouraged and let down by what would be exposed in our lives. Deep down, we worry that we are not as authentic as Tim Tebow, we are hypocrites.
Tim Tebow is full of childlike faith and his life brings much glory to God. Whether he wins or loses, he never fails to use his platform to give glory to God. It is refreshing and convicting at the same time to watch someone live out his beliefs so consistently with no shame. We get a little uncomfortable by this 24 year old who doesn’t mind telling the world that he is a child of God. His boldness and consistency in sharing is a reminder to us that we are not sharing!
Tebow’s name is now used as a verb where it is referenced in the stance he takes as he kneels on one knee to pray. People all over are “Tebowing.” He has made it popular to pray!
According to Google, “In 2010, a new rule for the next NCAA football season, dubbed “The Tebow Rule” by media because it would have affected him, banned messages on eye paint. During his college football career, Tebow frequently wore references to biblical verses on his eye black. In the 2009 BCS Championship Game, he wore John 3:16 on his eye black; the verse was the highest-ranked Google search term over the next 24 hours, generating over 90 million searches. Additionally, later, when Tebow switched to another verse, there were 3.43 million searches of “Tim Tebow” and “Proverbs 3:5-6” together.
If you had asked me before this season if God cared about football, I probably would have said no. However as I look at this situation and all the aspects involved, I would answer “yes” rather emphatically! Because of Tim Tebow, the name of Jesus is being spread on every sports program, national news, newspapers, magazines, etc…Through his witness on his eye black, 90 million people read, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son…”
A young man who is committed to his faith is standing firm for Jesus and as a result, he is impacting countless lives. This is much bigger than football my friends, this is about the kingdom! Only heaven will reveal the impact of how God used a little pigskin ball in the hands of a 24 year old young man who simply chose to tell his story. I for one will be Tebowing this weekend!