Summary: It’s not enough to join the team and take your position, you need to put on the equipment and learn to use it so you don’t get taken out of the game on the first play. Student Ministry PowerPoint format.

[Suit Up]

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:17)

This material was originally presented to a High School audience in PowerPoint format. If you have any questions, or would like a copy of the original PowerPoint (without the video, which is too large for email), drop me an email at

[Suit Up]

Slide Graphics – “Football Jesus” bobblehead, and picture of figurine showing Jesus playing football with a couple of kids. Search the internet on “Football Jesus” and you’ll find them easily

Slide Text –

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:17)

This is the third week of a month of looking at football as a metaphor of Christianity. Of course, we’re not saying that you have to play football to be a Christian, or that all football players are Christians, or that Christ would play football if he born in our time instead of 2000 years ago.

I think of this as a “when in Rome” thing. The Superbowl is a big topic of conversation right now. It’s everywhere you turn. Rather than memorize a “witnessing formula” that we push down the throat of everyone we meet, I think Paul tells us we should use what’s going on in the culture, what people are familiar with and interested in, to bring the discussion around to Christ. That’s what this series is – a way of using something people are interested in and already talking about (football) to point to Christ.

When I first started thinking about a “Football Jesus” series, I was thinking about

• How being part of a football team with a common goal is like being one of Christ’s followers (week 1)

• I thought about how playing your unique position on a football team is similar to serving the unique mission God gifted you for (week 2)

• I thought about how the special equipment you need – helmet, shoulder pads, cleats, etc. – is like the armor of God (week 3)

• And I thought about how being dedicated and giving your all to win a championship ring is like living a life sold out to God and receiving a crown of glory (week 4)

But I have to admit that I also had to think what it would be like if Christ were born today instead of 2000 years ago. If he were a kid in our city, he might well have actually played football growing up.

Think about that. Jesus on a football team. That gives new meaning to the phrase “the immaculate reception” – or the “Hail Mary pass.” What if the all-powerful Savior were your wide receiver? What if the incarnate God himself was blocking for you?

“The Lord is my receiver, I shall not fumble. He leadeth me down the field toward victory in his name. Yeah though I run through the entire defensive line, I will fear no tackle, for Thou are blocking for me. Thy disciples, they comfort me.”

I mean, doesn’t this statue strike you as a little weird? First, who is going to be able to stop God from scoring – Jesus has got game! Are you going to plant yourself in the path of the Supreme Deity with the power to unleash Final Judgment on all Humanity? Even if the Living Christ just stiff-arms you on his way to the end zone, what is that going to do to your faith in his goodness and love?

Even if he humbled himself and played as a mere human, I mean, who’s going to tackle Jesus? What if you, like, broke his leg or something? If he had to be carried off the field, groaning in pain. You would be known forever as the kid who took Jesus out of the game. I’m sure he would forgive you, but that’s the kind of thing you could never really live down.

What if you were the coach, and Jesus was out there just turning the other cheek? Do you want to be the guy who benched the Holy One? Do you really want his Dad asking to “have a little chat with you after the game”?

And look at that uniform. I mean, come on! Playing football in a robe and sandals? What if you accidentally spiked his holy instep?

Football is a dangerous game. You need a lot of equipment to be able to play the game safely.

[It’s Dangerous Out There]

Slide Graphic – Football

Slide Video – clip showing hard tackles

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