My favorite football team is the Seattle Seahawks. They just played an unforgettable game against the Greenbay Packers. The Hawks were behind the entire game. In the last few minutes of the fourth quarter, they tied the game and forced it into overtime. Everyone was saucer-eyed and open-mouthed as the Seahawks scored the touchdown that would win the game and send them to the Superbowl.
After the game, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson kneeled with Seahawks and Packers alike to pray. What a touching end to an epic contest. Team loyalties were superceded. In Him is no Jew or Greek, Seahawk or Packer but Christ is all and in all (Col. 3:11).
Russell Wilson isn’t the first believing quarterback to affect me with his faith. When I was about 11 I waited in line for hours to get Jim Zorn’s autograph. Jim Zorn was the Seahawks’ first quarterback.
When I got to the front of the line, Zorn pulled a picture of himself off a large, slumping pile of photos. With a Sharpie marker in his left hand, he scrawled on the picture and handed it to me. I can’t remember if he said anything. I know I was speechless 😉
As I walked away, I looked down at the picture. Zorn’s black signature wriggled across the paper and over a Bible verse—John 3:16. My heart skipped a beat. What did this verse say? Had Zorn picked it just for me? Could it be a key to understanding myself and my life?
Once home, I scrambled to find my Good News Bible. Somehow, I managed to locate John 3:16.
I read the words: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.” As I read, my heart sank. I had hoped to find some secret key that would unlock the mystery that was my self. But this verse wasn’t about me at all. It just talked about Jesus.
Although less childishly, I think many Christians have similar expectations of the Bible. We want it to be about us. We want it to provide an adventure of self-discovery. Of course, we couch this in much more spiritual terms: We want to find God’s will for our lives, we want to know our calling, we want to discover our spiritual gifts, we want God to show us our ministry. Or we want to find tools to make us better spouses, better parents, more mature, mightier in prayer. This makes it all about me in the name of God 🙂
But we come to the Bible and from cover to cover it talks about Jesus. I wonder if this is part of the reason the Bible is said to be the most owned, least read book: Jesus is an utter disappointment to the person looking for self-help.
Don’t get me wrong. God cares about His will for our lives, how He’s called us and made us to meet those callings. He cares about what kind of parents and pray-ers we are. But Christ is the fullness of all those things. Husbands are shadows of THE Husband (Eph. 5:25). Apostles embody the ministry of THE Apostle (Heb. 3:1). Every spiritual gift is a manifestation of who Jesus is within *His* body (1 Cor. 12). If we know Jesus, all of these things will follow since He is the reality and source of them.
I thought Zorn fumbled by writing John 3:16 under his autograph. Now I know what a touchdown that was. He shared Jesus, who is God’s will for my life, who is my high calling, who is my new life (Php. 3:14, Col. 3:4). What a victory dance we do in Him!