Jeremy Lin, Tim Tebow and the Gospel

jeremy lin and tim tebow

Linsanity, Linderella, Linvincible, and Super Lintendo…these are just the several of many nicknames of what many call a “miracle.” This miracle is “J Lin “ – Jeremy Lin – the undrafted point guard from Harvard who has emerged from seemingly nowhere and reached stardom with his Asian American descent and most notably his outspoken Christian faith.  Just less than a month ago, the Harvard graduate was buried on the bench and crashing on friend’s couches. Stadium security guards mistook Lin for a team trainer. In the last six games, however, Lin has become a household name, after six straight winning games – the latest of which ended on a buzzer-beating, game winning shot by Lin.

Some sportswriters have dubbed him the Taiwanese Tebow. In fact, the parallels to the Tim Tebow the Broncos quarterback is not surprising since these two have two similarities: first, the team seems to go on winning streaks with the presence of the member and second, both of their unwavering belief to their Christian convictions. Interviewers have noticed this similarity and Lin was soon inundated with questions with NFL Christian counterpart. Here’s what he had to say.

“Actually a lot of inspiration just because he’s such a polarizing figure but I think the things he says in interviews, his approach to the game is just unbelievable and I respect him so much. I want to be able to do some of the things that he does in terms of the amount of charity work and the non-profit work, and the way he impacts people off the field. I think that is what is most inspiring to me about him.”

Jeremy Lin has already figured out the most important part of his life, namely his why he is here on earth and values that guide him to become indefatigable. Unlike others in the sport industry who wants to make him/herself into an idol, Lin says how we is utilizing basketball as a mean for glorifying God and propagating the Good News. Just listen.

[youtube=www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmwrLSxCVbU]

As a Christian, it is difficult to conceal my genuine enthusiasm when I see brothers and sisters in Christ who are in the world but not of the world, making strides by glorifying Lord Jesus.

Sobering Reflections

In all this media hype today of “Linsanity” and “The Mile-High Messiah,” here’s some sobering reflections that I’d like to share:

Trust in the gospel, not heros: As a follower of Christ, it is inspiring and emboldening to see how God is raising up modern-day Joseph (and Esther). But as Psalms 118:8-9 advises us, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in prices.” As little Christians, Psalm 20:7-9, “some boast in chariots and some in horses, but we will boast in the name of the Lord, our God.” I find myself sometimes excited more about the craze of the attention public Christians get and how they are going to make a difference in the world. Yes, God does use His vessels for the glory of God, but should we think that these extraordinary means are what we need Christian impact to take place? Certainly, everyone has a place in His unique story.

Be emboldened by outspoken Christian figures, not discourage you: I certainly do agree that as a Christian we have every reason to cheer on brothers like Lin and Tebow who God has richly blessed. We must be careful, however not to replace them as our Lord Jesus Christ. As each one of us are the body of Christ whom we are called to propagate the Gospel, we must not be discouraged that we do not have a greater testimony like Lin or Tebow. I really liked how someone said that the power of the gospel has never been in the vessels who herald the message, the power is always in the word itself.

Pray: Finally, let’s pray for Jeremy Lin, Tim Tebow, and other public Christians who are under enormous pressure to perform, constant scrutiny and temptations. May Lord guide their hearts from pride and arrogance. Let them become as wise as serpent and innocent as dove. Let’s continue to pray for their families and friends who will support them.

Above all, Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow’s stories are compelling. It has attracted the attention of the world. It will be very interesting how the story will unfold in the future, but as Christians, let’s continue to pray that God will shine the light of His glory into this newfound fame.

Relevant Resources

For more on Lin’s life and faith, see “Jeremy Lin, Faith, and Ethnicity” and “The Faith and Fate of Jeremy Lin.”

David Mathis and Tony Reinke provide a nice quote from Jeremy Lin, where he talks about what God has taught him from Philippians 3 about basketball and the greater prize that is found in Christ — All Sphere Even Pro Basketballs of Life —

For Jeremy Lin’s favorite Christian music, click “Jeremy Lin Music Picks