FLOWER MOUND, TX, January 12, 2012—Most sports fans know the incredible story of Tim Tebow, quarterback for the Denver Broncos professional football team. He has become the face of a faith that has made him a national football and social phenomena.
His mother, Pamela Elaine is the daughter of a U.S. Army colonel, and his father, Robert Ramsey Tebow II, is a Baptist pastor. While serving as missionaries in the Philippines, his mother became pregnant and suffered a life-threatening infection with a pathogenic amoeba. The doctors warned that the drugs used to bring her out of a coma and to treat her dysentery could cause a stillbirth and possibly kill her.
They advised her to have an abortion to protect her own life. In spite of the warning and dangers, she refused to abort the fetus that is Tim Tebow.
The youngest of five children, Tim began a life of football success. Achieving great success in high school, he went on to win two national championships as the quarterback for the University of Florida Gators, winning the Heisman trophy as a sophomore. He was drafted in the first round of the NFL draft by the Denver Broncos in 2010.
Tim Tebow is most famously known for his outspoken Christian Witness. In order to instill Christian principles in Tim, his parents taught him at home. His faith has been a vital part of his rise to “rock-star” status.
The Bible verse John 3:16 (“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”) came into prominence when it appeared at athletic events accompanied with a person wearing a rainbow colored wig. It was generally dismissed as an expression of a radical right-wing Christian.
At games at the University of Florida, Tim Tebow prominently displayed the verse reference “John 3:16” on his eye-black under his eyes. Tim and the Bible passage gained national prominence after he passed for 316 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Broncos’ miracle-like victory in overtime in the wildcard game on Sunday.
In addition it was reported that he averaged 31.6 yards per toss, also the length of the winning pass caught by Demaryius Thomas, who was born on December 25, 1987 - Christmas day.
Tim’s stature as a football star has been built on his fourth-quarter comebacks, and it has vaulted him into a national football and social phenomenon with the upset victory over the Pittsburg Steelers.
It was the first overtime game since the National Football league established a rule allowing overtime playoff games to end with each team having a possession before a winner was determined—except if just one team scored a touchdown on their first possession. On the very first play of overtime Tebow threw an 80 yard touchdown pass to win the game.
The week is filled with speculation whether or not the Broncos led by Tim Tebow have been winning with divine intervention. A recent telephone poll revealed 43% of those familiar with Tebow’s accomplishments believe that divine intervention accounts for the victory against the Steelers. As Yogi Berra reportedly once said that it was not fair for people to pray for divine intervention in sports events, it should be nine against nine, or in football eleven against eleven.
John 3:16 is a summary verse of the Christian message of the entire Bible from the Garden of Eden to the creation of the new heavens and new earth. It declares that the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden is reversed by the sacrifice of the new Adam, Jesus Christ. The new birth brings one, who was born in sin and condemned, to a new life of forgiveness and eternal life. That new situation is brought about by faith in the sacrifice of Christ’s death on the cross.
Does Tim Tebow have an inside track with God’s plan for football games? Or does he have a “good luck charm” much like putting a penny in one’s shoe or fulfilling a pregame ritual to guarantee success? Will God enable Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos to defeat the favored New England Patriots?
Sunday’s victory or defeat is not the issue. There are those who may be faithful Christians praying for the New England Patriots. Does God view Tim Tebow’s prayer with more favor than other Christians’ prayers? Many athletes pause at the end of a touchdown to acknowledge thankfulness. Why is Tebow singled out for his act of thankfulness? It comes at the conclusion of the play, not in the huddle to seek divine help.
Tebow’s now famous “prayer pose” is publicly acknowledging his “Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” for His work in his life and for giving him the talent to play a simple game of football. Tim is fulfilling a command of God, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Many Christians are thankful for men and women like Tim Tebow, who will make public declarations of their faith in God.
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