Tim Tebow’s not the savior, but he sure does act like one

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I’ve been a Bronco fan for a long time. I remember striped socks, the South Stands, Steve Tensi, Cookie Gilcrest, Lyle Alzado, The Orange Crush, and the days when two words were enough to describe Mile High Stadium. We loved our Broncos. We filled the stadium. We cheered them on, even though they didn’t win much. We learned to endure. “Maybe next year we’ll beat the Raiders”, was our rallying cry.

Then along came a savior.

Not THE savior. There’s only been one of those. He was born in a manger in Bethlehem 2000 years ago. His name was Jesus. He came to save the world. And he did.

Our savior was born in a hospital in Port Angeles, Washington in 1960. His name was Elway. He came to save our Broncos. And he did.

And then he left us, and we’ve been looking for another ever since.

Maybe, just maybe we’ve found him. He was born in the Philippines, and like THE savior, his birth was a bit of a miracle. He came to us by way of Florida and we hope he has come to save our Broncos.

Or maybe it’s not just our Broncos he came to save. In a time when our innocence has been shattered by revelations of the sexual abuse of our children by those we’ve cheered as role models, maybe he has come to restore faith in our heroes. We want to believe. We need to believe. But, in the dark recesses of our psyche, we wonder if he’ll disappoint us like so many have. Or worse, turn out to be something entirely different than the public package.

We want to believe in the underdog. The kid that the pundants say will never make it.

We want to believe in the gifted young man who says “No sir” and “Yes sir” in response to questions at the press conferences.

We want to believe in the humble leader who “thanks my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ”, gives credit to his coaches and team mates and pledges to do his best to improve everyday.

We want to believe. We want to hope. But the cynical pessimist inside of us is waiting for the other shoe to drop. We’re afraid he will disappoint us.

The truth is, he probably will. Hopefully not in scandalous ways. He’s human. Although they run quite well, his feet are made of clay. He’s just a wealthier, better looking, more athletic version of me. And I don’t always get it right, neither do you, and nor will he. He’s going to make mistakes, throw to the wrong jersey from time to time, say stuff he shouldn’t, and be severely tested when wins become losses and the temptations of fame are thrown his way.

If you want a Savior that won’t disappoint, you’d be better served trusting the one from Bethlehem. He proved himself divine.

Tim Tebow’s not THE savior, but he sure acts a lot like one.

I’m pulling for him. We need him to win. Not just for the Broncos, but for our hopes and dreams that the good guys really do exist and that they do well. I know he’s just beginning, but we need him to finish strong.

Honestly, I think he will. The fourth quarter at Mile High is becoming known as Tebow time.

One more thing…I just wish Tim Tebow could play for the Cubs.

If you like stories about unlikely heroes, you’ll love Ir-rev-rend: Christianity without the pretense, faith without the facade. You can read more about it and order your copies as Christmas gifts HERE

Greg is the founding pastor of Seacoast Church, one of the early adopters of the multi-site model. Located in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, Seacoast has been recognized by various media as an innovative and influential thought leader in future strategies for church growth and development.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

15 comments
Mark
Mark

It will be interesting to have Tim Tebow playing for the Cubs (how about the Twins instead). Seriously, it is so good to see him so passionate about integrating his faith in Jesus into everything he does.

Brett McBride
Brett McBride

Pastor Greg, I have ALWAYS thought Elway was the best quarterback ever, I'll never forget The Drive. After 34 years of Tampa Bay Buccaneer allegience I (and my sweetheart) put on the Bronco colors last year as a show of support to our legendary Gator. Just this morning my wife and I were talking about what could possibly be found in Touchdown Timmy's life that is scandalous. Surely there is something and certainly he is NOT perfect. What a HUGE load to carry under the eye of so much constant, scrutiny. But we believe he is genuine and a great example of how to live out the CHRISTian faith in public. On an interesting note, we got to shake hands with Pam Tebow a couple of years ago at a Low Country Pregnancy Center Banquet and she has a tie to the Low Country. Her daddy was in the Army and she went to a small church over in the N. Charleston area while they were stationed here. If I remember the story correctly, this was where Jesus grabbed her heart as a little girl. GB2

bob studebaker
bob studebaker

Also being from Colorado, and living in Charleston, Greg and I have the same background and hopes for the Broncos, what I see as refreshing is Tim Tebo's gracious attitude in defeat... I just hope Kansas City has the same reaction next week when Tim gets back on track :).

Antwuan Malone
Antwuan Malone

Oh... and I'm a Raider fan, so I guess we're pretty much the gang of anti-christs.... :)

Antwuan Malone
Antwuan Malone

Good post! I'm always leery of the Christian celebrities because, as you mentioned, they are human and will fail... and thus cast a disparaging light on Christians. But the problem here is the idea that Christians must hold to some specific higher code (which, to some degree, is correct). Anyway, I won't say too much. I made a recent post myself about this, so you can read it there if you're interested in my thoughts on Mr. Tebow. Good post though! http://antwuanmalone.com/2011/12/20/god-cheering-for-tim-tebow/

Amanda Rosado
Amanda Rosado

Right on. I like that you're taking the reasonable opinion that at some point he will mess up. We are all on this journey together. Love Tebow!! And I am in no way shape or form a Broncos fan. :)

Joni
Joni

I never liked Tebow much or the Gators (unless they were playing South Carolina in which case I loved them dearly) but your words have made me rethink my feelings for Tebow. Afterall I LOVE the Mile High city or I wouldn't have chosen to spend my 30th Birthday there! :) So in hopes there really are good guys playing on the gridiron (besides my beloved Tigers)...I'm gonna have to say Go Broncos! Yeah and that Tebow guy too! Great post.

Eric Goodman
Eric Goodman

I've been a Bronco fan for many years too and I can truly say, I enjoy watching Tebow play ball. Elway was awesome to watch and I think he was a great QB but Tebow, at this point, has the character to back it up. I sat my daughters down tonight and let them listen to the interview he gave after the game. Kids today need more HERO's that are faithful to God, heros that talk about Jesus, but also follow Jesus! I pray that he continues to represent TRUE Christianity in his life, on the field and off the field!

Gregsur
Gregsur

Kelly - A bigger question: Why didn't his hometown Jacksonville Jaguars draft him when they had a chance?

Kellyffowler
Kellyffowler

I watched the last quarter of that game with my 12 year old daughter this morning on the DVR. She watched as the reporters chased Tebow around with the mic and he blew them off until after he went to the prayer circle. I pointed out to her he was giving God all the glory and commented about how few sports hero's there are out there who display good godly character. She watched him thank Jesus, his Lord and Savior in the interviews. I could tell she was witnessing something she does not see often. I told her that Tebow's mothers was told to abort him by her Dr. We talked about the 53 million others who have been aborted since 1973. I explained to her why some people don't like Tebow because of who and what he represents and that we need to pray for him often because he will be tested and tried. I have to admit I was moved and at the same time, sad at the possible mistakes he may make in the future due to fame. But, I had a very proud moment to teach her what type of people she might be able to look up to and was grateful for a good example. Very good blog post Greg. But my other question to my hubby was "Why didn't the Panthers recruit him?"

Martin Picker
Martin Picker

For those of us who, like Greg, suffered through the 60's and early 70's with the Bronco and then suffered through Brian, The Snake, Jay and Kyle, Tebow does seem to be a possible savior (for the Broncos). I don't live and die with the Orange and Blue any more. For me the really great thing about Tebow is that after the game the cameras are actually following him into a larger and larger circle of prayer that many players are joining after the game. Last night I saw Brian Dawkins praying fevently leading many players from both teams. Tebow will be tested on and off the field. He need to hold him up in our prayers because many, many people will be watching, some hoping to see him fail. I like it when the broncos win, but it's more important that young people see a real example of what God wants to do in all of our lives.

Foibled Translator
Foibled Translator

Great post! We long for the sports hero who is also a moral hero and so few combine both. History and faith and God are not on the side of sports hero who is only that, even if his fans are.

Walter S Hemingway
Walter S Hemingway

I pray that he will continue to do what he has set out to do and not falter or fall to the usual celebrity nonsense that sinks people. I appreciate that he is conducting himself in a way that shows strength and humility during these turbulent times. I pray that he is blessed with success to take away the excuses that others might have for downplaying our Lord and Savior Jesus. Thanks for this article Pastor Greg