Life is pretty good for the Philadelphia Eagles following their Feb. 4 victory over the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. But for Eagles wide receiver Marcus Johnson, the good life really began well before the big game, and in an unconventional way.
Last October, Marcus — surrounded by over a dozen of his teammates — was baptized for the first time … in a hotel pool.
In a photo posted on his Instagram page, you can see Marcus and a pastor up to their waists in the water. At the edge of the pool, his brothers on the field stand holding hands, arms around each other, heads bowed for the sacred moment. Marcus writes, “Last night I took another step forward in my faith. First time being baptized, and it wouldn’t have been possible without [the] group of men in this picture. Corporate worship is a beautiful thing!! Cleansed and reborn in JESUS’ name!!📢🙏🏾”
Can we get a big amen?
Devout Christian and former Eagles reserve QB Tim Tebow shared more of the story in a video on his Facebook page, and it turns out that many of Marcus’ teammates may be responsible for the player’s revelation. According to the video, five members of the team were baptized in the Eagles’ recovery pool in 2016. And as inspiring as Tim’s life and his open profession of faith have been, the video points to current Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, whose personal slogan is “audience of one,” referring to playing for God. In fact, post-game, Carson’s first comment was to give credit to God.
And then to his MVP teammate, Nick Foles.
The team’s pastor and tight end, Trey Burton, is also quoted saying, “This is by far the most spiritual team I’ve been on. Even guys that were on other teams say this locker room is unbelievable with how many believers we have compared to where they’ve been.”
Now, it isn’t likely that divine intervention had anything to do with the results of the highly competitive NFL championship game, but we can’t help but think that it had a lot to do with the incredible display of sportsmanship we saw on the field from both teams. There were no technical fouls, very little post-play posturing and the camaraderie after the coin toss could just about make your heart explode.
Some of you may recall that Tim Tebow took a considerable amount of criticism for his open displays of prayer and Christianity when he played both college and professional football. In fact, the talented athlete’s name became a verb for the act of kneeling in prayer—“Tebowing.” And in 2010, the “Tebow Rule” was enforced to prevent college athletes from writing on their eye black. Tim, who has since crossed over into the MLB and will suit up for the Mets at training camp this year, often wrote biblical references on his eye black, such as Romans 1:16.
In times like these, seeing someone who isn’t afraid to say they love Jesus sure does the heart good.