An ESPN article reported that Bill Belichick, head coack for the New England Patriots, is already tired of the Tim Tebow questions. Tebow signed a contract with the team to play back-up quarterback or possibly, other positions. The Broncos and the Jets both cut him from their team rosters. Yet, Tim Tebow causes a media frenzy anywhere he goes. Why is the country fascinated by Tim Tebow? The answer to that question should be a wake-up call to God’s Church today.
Tim Tebow won the Heisman Trophy in 2007 and helped the Broncos win the AFC West in 2011. Last year, ESPN reported that he “attempted just eight passes, rushed for 102 yards on 32 carries and was used mostly to protect the punter.” I know enough about the game to know this: that is not a stunning record. Yet, when Tebow showed up for the mandatory practice in New England, the reporters were tripping over each other to get an interview. Why is Tebow a top news story? It isn’t about his game. It is about his witness. He stands out, separate and different from almost everyone else. The whole world knows that Tim Tebow is an evangelical Christian, who expresses his faith in public.
I wish Jerry Jones had beat Bill Belichick to the punch. Tony Romo is hurt right now, and if history proves correct, he will be hurt again sometime before the play-offs. The Cowboys need a good back-up for Romo. The Cowboys also need good character, something that has been lacking since the Tom Landry days. Tom Landry stood out in a crowd, separate and different, for the same reason as Tim Tebow. The whole world knew that Tom Landry was an evangelical Christian, who expressed his faith in public.
What can we learn from those two men, and their choice to be a public, witness for Christ? The world pays attention to people of faith who will stand out, separate and different. Does that describe your life? Does that describe your children? Is maintaining an evangelical witness a high priority for your family?
I’m sure there are days when Tim Tebow gets tired of the attention. He has been the subject of late-night talk show jokes. He has been the subject of newspaper cartoons. He makes news when he makes a public appearance. I can’t imagine what he would have to endure, just to take a girl out on a date! Tim Tebow has paid a high price for his witness. Christians should be paying attention to that fact. Very soon, you and your family will too.
Tim Tebow is a late-night joke because he is a virgin, and plans to be until he is married. Tebow is a cartoon sketch because he bows to pray on the field. Tim Tebow is a news story because he is interested in using his position as quarterback to bless other people, especially children. People know Tim Tebow believes in God and for some reason, they are fascinated that he does. At the same time, many of those reporters want to be the first, to see him fall.
I think Christians should pray for Tim Tebow, asking God to strengthen his faith in the midst of the frenzy. We should also know that his treatment by the media will soon be our treatment as well. You, your family and your friends will begin to face the same scrutiny and the same attacks on your faith that Tebow endures. Your children will be a “joke” if they choose to remain virgins. You and your children will be excluded, bullied and ridiculed for believing the word of God instead of popular opinions. Tim Tebow isn’t unique, he is an indicator. Yet, he gladly chooses to be an evangelical who expresses his faith in public. So should we.
Jesus told his disciples, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” But then Jesus was quick to say, “If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also” (John 15:20). Jesus taught his disciples, then and now, what to expect when choosing to be an evangelical who expresses your faith in public. Some will persecute, but others will learn. Your strong public witness will bring you scorn and it will also teach others to become obedient followers of Christ. Jesus made certain his disciples understood this as well: “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done” (Revelation 22:12).
Wouldn’t it be great to arrive in heaven and find out that your mansion in glory is just down the street from Tim Tebow’s and Tom Landry’s? Talk about prime real estate! Don’t you want to make certain your kids live close by as well? There will be a price to pay if you choose to express your faith in public. Jesus, Tim Tebow, Tom Landry and a certain blog author would like you to know this: you will DEFINITELY get what you pay for.
The world is paying attention. Give them Jesus, whatever the cost.