There’s something about Tim Tebow. He’s certainly a stellar football player, but the intrigue that surrounds the 24-year-old transcends his athletic abilities and taps into more deeply-rooted issues. People of all faiths are starting to take notice of Tebow’s unabashed love for God and his willingness to be open about what his devotion to the Almighty means in his life.
Plus, over the past few months, the more his critics mock his faith, the better he performs on the field. On Sunday, he led his team to its sixth straight win. His open faith teamed with continued success has led to attention both in the media and among faith leaders.
Fox News is reporting that religious communities in Denver, Colorado, are taking notice of Tebow — even those individuals and groups who don’t embrace the Christian faith. Take, for instance, Joe Black, the rabbi at Denver’s Temple Emmanuel. When asked if he would use Tebow, an evangelical Christian, in one of his sermons, he responded affirmatively.
“Oh, absolutely. Here’s the sermon I would deliver and probably will deliver: Tim Tebow is broadcasting the fact that he believes in God. God is actively involved in his life,” he explained. “We call ourselves people of faith. Is that how we perceive God? And if not, how do we perceive God?”
Another Rabbi, Rick Rheins of Temple Sinai, said that he might preach about Tebow — if the Broncos make their way to the playoffs. He went on to say that the young football player isn’t “the most accurate thrower in the world” and that “he obviously has questionable NFL quarterback skills,” but he said that Tebow doesn’t doubt himself — which can be a powerful tool and quality.
Even Khaled Hamideh, a Muslim who is the chairman of the board at the Colorado Muslim Society, is a fan. “I know I’m a Muslim and he’s a Christian, but I admire somebody who thanks God for everything that he gave him.”
Christian churches, of course, are also preaching about the young football player’s faith. Jim Phillips, senior pastor at Mountainview Community Christian Church in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, spoke to his congregation about Tebow on Sunday. Rather than wearing a suit, the pastor was decked out in a Tebow jersey.
He focused on Tebow’s public displays of his faith. ”It’s about the life he’s living,” he said. ”We want heroes. We want role models, and Tim has stepped up to be one.”