no quarterback controversy 

by Pastor Mark Jordan

“The One who comes from above is head and shoulders over other messengers from God. The earthborn is earthbound and speaks earth language; the heavenborn is in a league of his own.” (John 3:31, MSG)

Are you a football fan? I sure am. I love how it requires intense planning, dedicated preparation, brute strength, precise skill, intense focus, and a commitment to the team in order to get to the goal line. Every player on the field has a specific role that is essential to the success of the play and victory. The player with perhaps the greatest amount of responsibility and impact is the quarterback, because that position handles the ball on nearly every single play, making the decision how to distribute it for greatest success. 

Every now and then, a team will have something called a quarterback controversy. This is when there are two (or more) players capable of playing the position, and one is not head-and-shoulders better than the other(s). Sometimes the controversy is due to age and experience. Sometimes it is due to a different skill set. Sometimes it is due to recent struggles or success. One football cliché that circulates in times of a quarterback controversy is, “when you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have one.” The meaning of that is when you can’t choose one over the other, then you don’t have a player clearly talented enough to trust with the team for victory. 

Looking at today’s passage, the context is right after Jesus burst on the scene. John the Baptist was doing his job of getting out the word that it is time to make a radical life change toward God. People were flocking to his message and receiving a new kind of hope. The thing about John, though, is he knew his role. He knew he was sent to prepare the way for Jesus. He was experiencing success in his ministry, but he knew without question that his role was to get the team ready to handoff to Jesus. So when Jesus began his public ministry, John knew it was time for him to go to the sideline so Jesus could take control of the huddle. John even said as much when he uttered, “he must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:32, NKJV).

There is no quarterback controversy when it comes to God’s team. Jesus is in a league of his own. The thing that makes him such a special leader is he embodies all of the qualities that makes for a great team we discussed above: intense planning, dedicated preparation, brute strength, precise skill, intense focus, and a commitment to the team in order to get to the goal line. Jesus knows how to utilize every players’ strength, get them in position, and spread the ball around so everyone contributes to God’s victory. 

There is no quarterback controversy, because Jesus is in a league of his own. He is picking you for his team. Are you ready to play?

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for picking me for your team. Hey my to know my role and play with your quarterback, Jesus, so we may march down the field toward victory. Forgive me for the times when I fear the defense is too strong, and help me to trust in you to position me properly, call the right play, and execute it to perfection. I ask this in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.