Nov 15 2011
I'm Not Quite Sure What You're Saying With That There Tebow Shirt

So you buy a Tim Tebow replica NFL jersey, but you replace the "Tebow" with "Jesus".

Allrighty.

I think you're saying (?) that Jesus went 2 for 8 on Sunday, with a touchdown pass.  And he won, which is awesome.  Jesus is now 3-1 as a starter this year, but He got sacked a lot by the Lions.  

At this point, Jesus still needs to work on his throwing mechanics, but He ran the triple-option with efficiency.

I think you're saying that...?

Or you're saying you like Jesus more than Tim Tebow, specifically?  That's it -- you're saying you think Tim Tebow is getting WAY too much attention, when we should really focus on Jesus.  By invoking Tebow's team colors and number, you're making an artistic statement about misplaced societal priorities on sports!  You're pretty sly!  I like that.

Or, perhaps it's more nuanced.  You're saying that, while you don't personally know Tim Tebow, you *do* personally know Jesus, and Jesus is awesome, and the Broncos are awesome, and while they have several players professing Christianity, you're pretty sure that Tim Tebow is the best Christian on the team, and so by replacing his name with the name of Jesus, you feel that -- actually, I can't remember how I started this sentence so nevermind.

So maybe that's not it.  I got it!  You're really saying that Tim Tebow, whom you don't personally know, tries so hard to be Jesus that he actually succeeds in a way that other, lesser NFL Christians, never achieve. This is why you don't have a Saints jersey with a number "9" that says "Jesus".  Tim's kinda the best NFL Christian...?

But that's probably not it.  Sounds weird.  Maybe it's this: People often get custom jerseys with their OWN names.  So you mean... YOU are Jesus.  You're claiming you have returned, and upon your return, went to nfl.com and got an awesome custom jersey.  And what better place to make this claim, than at Mile High Stadium, where you can feed the 80-thousand with five cheesy-pretzels and two Cokes?

...but that's silly-talk!  No way you're really saying that.  You're saying you're Jesus, as in, "I am Jesus, because I am part of His people, His body, in a very real way."  And that makes sense!  

And it's true, if you belong to Christ!  So you're wearing this now, saying, "I'm Jesus to the world."  Kind of bracing to put this on your shirt, and creates high expectations, to be sure, but certainly it's less unfair to call yourself Jesus than to saddle Tim Tebow, whom you don't even know, with that kind of pressure, right?  

Think of it!  To put that kind of pressure on a fellow sinner who has so many people watching him!  Wow, THAT would be bizarre, awkward, and strange in the weirdest way.

So I salute you for not doing that.

You're not promoting silly sports hero-worship, or identifying Christ, himself, with only one particular NFL player, whom you don't actually know.  Quite the opposite.  You're saying, "I've got to be Jesus to people.  This means good news for the poor, for the outcast, for the not-so-popular, for the world's 'losers'.  The Kingdom is near, and thank God, He's allowing ME to play a role in it, turning this world's value systems upside-down, and loving the unlovely, no matter the cost. I will no longer value the things our culture says matters. I will embrace the humble, those who are not celebrated, the most vulnerable, in a manner that will not only confound the world, but roil and anger a religious establishment which exalts public acts of piety over the very heart of God for the least of these."

Smart move. Lotta pressure, but bro, I like that statement.