Black Eyes for Jesus


“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” 
-John 3:16


John 3:16 is probably the most recognized verse in the entire Bible. Back in 70s and 80s you would see this verse at large sporting events all over the United States. However, it recently found a home in a different format. College and professional football players now write sayings, area codes, names and other things on their eye black for games. Throughout the past college football season and bowl games, several athletes made it very clear where they stood spiritually based on these marks. Probably most notable, Tim Tebow, from the biggest stage of college football, donned “John” on one side and “3:16” on the other in front of a national and worldwide audience. 

If you paid attention throughout the season, you saw other athletes sporting verses like Philippians 3:14 and Galatians 2:20, but if there is one verse you wish everyone could see and understand, it might be John 3:16.  It is a verse of hope, a verse of promise, a verse of dedication and a verse of destination. They are 27 words etched into the spiritual DNA of all who believe. And for those who do not believe yet, it is simply one of the greatest nuggets of truth they will ever find.

Earlier this month, many viewers tuned in to see a historical national championship football game between two teams that had never faced each other before, and also to see two great quarterbacks do battle. But every time the camera was close to Tebow’s helmet, you couldn’t help, but read his eyes, his black eyes. As great of a champion as Tebow was that night, the greatest message he showed the world was written on his face. I am so thankful that these young men are finding new and unique ways to share their faith with those they influence. My prayer is that this trend will continue to grow and that we will see more and more black-eyed athletes for Jesus!


1. How do you feel about athletes putting verses on their eye black or shoes during competition?
2. If you could put a verse on your shoes or eye black, what verse would you choose and why?
3. Today, is there a way you can share your faith so that people will notice that you compete or work for Him?


(All verses I have seen this year on athlete’s eye black)
Psalm 91
Galatians 2:20
Philippians 3:14
Philippians 4:13

Bible Reference: 
Philippians 4