John 3:16 message delivered by Tim Tebow's arm
But the Denver Broncos quarterback nonetheless delivered that Biblical message to the masses Sunday during an overtime victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The score was 29-23. But the game was significant for other -- some might say supernatural -- game-time numbers: He passed for 316 yards against the Steelers, and set an NFL playoff record with 31.6 yards per completion.
For Christians, John 3:16, of course, is arguably the single most important verse in the Bible. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16 was the most Googled search term for much of Sunday evening and into Monday morning, as sports fans and non-sports fans alike tried to make sense of the statistical coincidences (and maybe brush up on the Bible).
Oddly enough, Tebow himself did not seem to make a connection between his game stats and the Bible verse that he used to paint in white on top of his eye black until the National Football League barred all such personal messages.
But he did praise the Lord, as he has done throughout his career, a practice that has gained him plenty of fans and critics. "First and foremost I just want to thank my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. He’s done so much in my life," Tebow said to the media after the game.
Although he can no longer paint John 3:16 on his game face, Tebow still keeps it close, using it to sign off a message to fans on his website.
-- Rene Lynch
Photo: Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow celebrates after running for a touchdown against the Steelers on Sunday. Credit: Doug Pensinger / Getty Images