Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, Tim Tebow is free at last! Free from the curse that is — and will always be — the New York Jets football team. Of course, as Tim Tebow well knows from the Old Testament story of Joseph and his brothers, God can take what others (Rex Ryan, Tony Sparano, Woody Johnson, et. al.) intended for evil and can turn it into good (Genesis 50:20). While we may never know this side of heaven God’s purposes in sending Tim Tebow to the Jets last year, we can know that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
From the moment that Tim Tebow was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the N.F.L. Draft in 2010, he has faced unwarranted criticism from all corners of the sports’ world. From the derogatory comments made by Dan Marino (who should have been more concerned about his own exploits at the time) and Boomer Esiason following Tebow’s first professional touchdown — which was a run and not a pass — to Esiason’s continued unhinged rants about Tebow throughout the Denver wins and resulting Tebowmania, the Heisman winner and two-time NCAA National Football Champion quarterback of the University of Florida Gators has handled the scorn and ridicule with the grace that you would expect from a follower of Christ.
One can only speculate as to why so many — from the two Johns in Denver to the entire Jets’ Organization to the moronic talking heads on ESPN — have treated Tim Tebow with such disdain. While there is ample evidence to conclude that their fear and loathing comes from a deap-seated anti-Christian bias (the Biblical Christianity that Tebow espouses, not the shallow, watered down imaginary “Christianity” that people have conjured up in their own minds) which has been directed at Tebow. There are probably a few other biases at work, particularly when it comes to Tebow’s skill set as a quarterback and football player. For someone who was never really given a chance to succeed — although he took his shot and caused John Elway’s head to explode every time the Broncos WON — Tim Tebow’s winning percentage far surpasses some other quarterbacks who were given multiple opportunities to succeed or fail. That Tebow was never given the chance cannot be solely attributed to anti-Christian bias, although it is the most likely explanation.
It goes without saying that Rex Ryan and the pathetic Jets’ organization never really cared for Tim Tebow and what he offered, their words to the contrary notwithstanding. It became increasingly clear, as last season progressed, that Ryan, Sparano, and company were more interested in losing with Mark Sanchez than winning with Tim Tebow. I guess that’s what happens when the Head Coach has a tattoo of his wife in a Sanchez Jersey. I guess we will see a new Gino Smith tattoo before too long. Perhaps this past season was payback for Tebow and the Broncos upsetting the Jets on Thursday Night Football during the 2011 season. Even if Tebow never plays another down, I will always relish the sight of Rex Ryan walking up the sideline, muttering to himself, after Tebow’s touchdown run against the Jets.
In his relatively short life — and even shorter N.F.L. career — Tim Tebow has nevertheless been blessed through adversity. Not necessarily the way that the world would view blessings. In our culture, good is now considered evil and evil is now considered good. I suppose that if Tim Tebow came out as gay like NBA star Jason Collins did today, he would have the White House and the mainstream media (including ESPN and the N.F.L. Network) fawning all over themselves him for his “courage.” No, my friends. Despite what we will see in the coming days — with various sports’ stars coming out of the closet — they will neither be blessed nor courageous. It takes no courage to publicly embrace what our godless culture embraces. True courage is to be counter-cultural and Biblical.
God will never bless those who commit evil (Planned Parenthood will never be blessed by the One, True God). However, Jesus promises that those, like Tim Tebow, who courageously stand for Him, even if they stand alone, will ultimately be blessed. And, when Jesus says you’re blessed, it’s a ‘BLESSED, MAKARIOS, WOOHOO” kind of blessing:
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you, when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:10-12)