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Tim Tebow's 3:16 Game!

 

 

 

  Tim Tebow is an excellent and very versatile athlete who has excelled at both football and baseball as I write this in late 2017.  An openly enthusiastic and often evangelistic Christian, Mr. Tebow stirred up a great deal of controversy, especially in the sports commentary world, just by combining an open profession of his faith with his participation in sports.  He was a well behaved person it appeared to me, and well spoken, and he was noted to have a good work ethic.  But a surprising number of people found a great many implausible reasons to speak at length about him or his play anyway, though he had a great number of fans as well.  It seemed to me that he was one of the strongest upholders of Christ in the collegiate and professional sports world.  And along with that there seemed to come a pretty great stirring up of those who dwelt in that world, both for the good and the bad.  Well, we aspiring Christians are told that we should 'take up our cross'.  Crosses come with troubles and pain, don't they?

  But there is an interesting story associated with Tim Tebow's expression of his faith as he participated in the sport of football. It certainly is cause for pause when you consider it.  

  On January 9, 2009 Tim was in college, and his team was in a big game.  It was the BCS championship game, and things don't get too much bigger for American college football athletes.  As many people know it is common for football players to put eye black under their eyes to reduce glare.  For this game, Tim Tebow wrote the words 'John 3:16' in his eye black using a small tip white marker.  There were television crews covering the game, and many of them broadcasted the unusual sight.  As a result over 90,000,000 searches for John 3:16 were logged on Google that day it was reported.  So, because of Tim Tebow wearing those words very publicly, and taking quite a bit of flak for doing so as time rolled by, a large throng of people gave at least momentary attention to a few of the words of God Almighty.  

  Did God take note of this?  Perhaps! 

  Flash forward exactly 3 years.....to the very day.  It is Jan 9, 2012.  Tim Tebow has finished his college days, and is now a professional football player in the NFL.  What's better and more, he is the Quarterback for the Denver Broncos, and they are in the first round of the playoffs facing the perennially tough Pittsburg Steelers.  And being in the playoffs...it doesn't get too much bigger than that for a professional football player.  Tim Tebow later said that he hadn't realized that it was exactly 3 years to the day from his BCS championship game, during which he had worn John 3:16 written into his eye black.  

  The Broncos had lost their last 3 games by an average of 16 points...but due to a key division rival suffering a loss, the Broncos got into the playoffs anyway.  That's 3 games....and 16 points.  So Tebow was allowed to be in the playoffs that year, against the Pittsburg Steelers, by means of a situation that involved a 3 and a 16.  And that playoff game was, again, on the exact 3 year anniversary of his wearing of the John 3:16 beneath his eyes back in the college BCS championship game.  

  How did the game go?  Tebow's team, the Denver Broncos, won!  In overtime!  Tebow threw for 316 yards that day, with an average of 31.6 yards per completion.  Not only are those pretty respectable number, but it also has the number 316 showcased front and center.  Unusual, right?  Sources commenting on this unusual game report that the Nielson television ratings for the game peaked at 316, by the way.  You can still Google  "Tebow"  and "John 3:16 Game" in 2017 and read about this game more at length because so many people have found it so numerically bizarre.

  The Bronco's opponents, the Steelers, only added to the unlikelihood of the statistics.  They possessed the ball for 31.6 minutes of the game.  The only interception thrown by them that day was in the game's second quarter on a 3rd down and 16 to go.

  So strange were these statistics, especially happening on the exact 3 year anniversary of Tim Tebow's wearing of the 'John 3:16', that there was a tremendous amount of comment on the matter.  So, the next day saw another 90 million Google searches on the 'John 3:16' verse, three years after the first 90 million.  Once again there were 90 million people wondering, at least for a moment,  what God had said in that verse.  Maybe 90 million little seeds were planted in 90 million human minds...again.  And so, what was it God had said there in that portion of the Bible?  Here it is, in the context of a large portion of that chapter of the Gospel of John, for those who are curious:

 

You Must Be Born Again

3 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named hNicodemus, ia ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus1 jby night and said to him, k“Rabbi, lwe know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do munless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is nborn oagain2 he cannot psee the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born qof water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 rThat which is born of the flesh is sflesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.3 7 tDo not marvel that I said to you, ‘You4 must be born uagain.’ 8 vThe wind5 blows wwhere it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

9 Nicodemus said to him, x“How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel yand yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, zwe speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but zyou6 do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 aNo one has bascended into heaven except che who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.7 14 And das Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man ebe lifted up, 15 that whoever believes fin him gmay have eternal life.8

For God So Loved the World

16 “For hGod so loved ithe world,9 jthat he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not kperish but have eternal life. 17 For lGod did not send his Son into the world mto condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 nWhoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not obelieved in the name of the only Son of God. 19 pAnd this is the judgment: qthe light has come into the world, and rpeople loved the darkness rather than the light because stheir works were evil. 20 tFor everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, ulest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever vdoes what is true wcomes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

 

 End Quote (though there is more to the chapter)

  As we draw further away from this unusual sports occurrence fewer people remember it, but it does seem to have all of the ear marks of being yet another great orchestration of human events by God the Almighty Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, Who are Three yet One.  But the Father, Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel, is acknowledged as the most mighty as is professed openly by Jesus, and also by God's Holy Spirit through several verses of scripture via the words and testimony of the Apostles.  In fact, the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit which 'proceeds forth from the Father' as it is put in some verses of scripture.  And this third chapter of the Gospel of John (in verse 18) is one of the Bible chapters that clarifies that Jesus is God's "only" Son.  A few denominations of Christianity teach otherwise.  So John chapter 3 says powerful things before, during, and after verse 16, as some of those 180 million people no doubt discovered.

  Hopefully you will find occasion to share this account with others.  Be blessed!  Testify! 

©2017 Daniel Curry & 'Deeds of God' Website