The Game Changer
The 3:16 Game
Exactly 9 years ago today, On January 8, 2009, Tim Tebow was the quarterback for the University of Florida in the 2009 BCS Championship Game against the Oklahoma Sooners. Millions were tuned into the game, but it wasn't the touchdowns that stole the show. Tim Tebow wrote the scripture "John 3:16" on his eye paint during the game. This simple demonstration of faith prompted over 90 million people to Google the scripture John 3:16 over the next 24 Hours.
Exactly three years later, on January 8, 2012, Tim Tebow was quarterbacking the Denver Broncos in a playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tim ended up leading his team to a spectacular overtime victory, but the statistics that came out of that game were even more mind blowing. Coming into the game, Denver had lost their last 3 games by an average of 16 points. In the game, Tim Tebow threw for 316 yards. He averaged 31.6 yards per completion. The only interception of the game was thrown by Ben Roethlisberger on 3rd down and 16. Pittsburgh's time of possession was 31 minutes 6 seconds. The television ratings for the game peaked at 31.6. As a result, "John 3:16" became the most searched on Google the next morning.
This game was eventually dubbed "The 3:16 Game." Many people and the media have tried to write off these undeniable 3:16 statistics as "coincidence", "Tebow's Lucky Number", or even "eerie." However, these are not words that exist in the vocabulary of a believer. God has a lot of nick names that rob Him of His glory such as luck, coincidence, happenstance, "something" told me..., mysterious, etc. There's no mystery about these occurrences. We serve a true and living God who is sovereign above all. This game was a result of God's sovereign will to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, and He used Tim Tebow as an instrument. Not surprisingly, the NCAA implemented a rule that banned players from writing on their eye paint that was dubbed "The Tebow Rule." This is a perfect example of why Jesus said in John 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. We may not always have the opportunity to proclaim the gospel boldly, so we have to do it while we can.
The Jesus Dude
What we can learn from Tim Tebow is that God is willing to use anyone in any situation to reach the lost. The bible says that one plants, one waters, but God gives the increase. Tim Tebow didn't have to be standing on a pulpit to or have a seminary degree to spread the gospel. He may not dot all the i's and cross all the t's, but he was simply a willing vessel who was unashamed about Christ. I was unsaved during the time of Tebowmania. I wasn't aware of all of the facts about The 3:16 Game (maybe I would have gotten saved sooner), but I remember the hype surrounding him. I remembered that he was "the Jesus dude" and I would jokingly tell my friends that I would no longer bet against him because he had God on his side. At that time, I lived and breathed NFL football, and I couldn't wrap my mind around why this young man kept winning games when he really wasn't that good, but now I understand... 1 Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
Consider this. If 90 million people Googled John 3:16, then it's safe to assume that a fair amount of them were unfamiliar because people don't typically Google things they already know. (Well, sometimes I do, but that's neither here nor there). The point is that God wants to use each of us in some way. Never feel that you are insignificant or don't have a big enough platform to be useful. If you are a Holy Spirit filled believer, then the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in you. So go forth. Let your light shine before men, and let the Lord use you! Yes...you!