You’re probably well aware that tonight the Golden State Warriors have a date with destiny. The Warriors host the Memphis Grizzlies as they strive to win an NBA record 73rd regular season game. Should the Warriors win they will pass the 1996 Chicago Bulls who set the all-time wins record at 72. Win or lose it’s been a monumental season for the Warriors.
As you know if the Warriors win the media hype surrounding the team will reach a fever pitch. Interviews will be given, appearances will be made, endorsement deals will be signed, etc., etc. You don’t have to be a marketing or public relations guru to understand how desperately all of America will want to cozy up to the team that won 73.
But does Jesus care if the Warriors win?
He cares a lot and the game doesn’t matter.
How can Jesus both care a lot and the game not matter? Glad you asked.
Jesus cares a lot because He is the sovereign Lord of the universe. Nothing takes place outside of His control. Not only that, but all things were created through Him and for Him. Therefore, He cares a lot about all of His image bearers. Jesus not only cares about all of us, but He cares about each of us personally. He loves us enough to be directly involved in every detail of our lives.
This means that He cares about who wins tonight, but He’s not a cosmic fan in the stands picking a favorite team and rooting them on. Jesus isn’t looking down on both teams waiting to see which team will pray the most or has the most players who are Christians. He’s not going to miraculously assist the team who has the fewest number of players on the noddy list. He’s far more than a giant Santa Clause in the sky.
Instead, He’s a masterful Lord who is working all things together for the good of those who love Him and according to His purposes and glory. Jesus cares if the Warriors win because He knows exactly what kind of impact the Warriors will have on our culture if they lose and what kind of impact they will have if the win. Jesus knows exactly how an outspoken Christian like Steph Curry will respond if he wins and how he will respond if he loses. Jesus also knows exactly how Curry’s response, win or lose, will impact everyone who witness the response.
So, does Jesus care if the Warriors win a record setting 73rd time tonight? Yes, but His caring extends far beyond the scoreboard. Jesus cares because He knows how the outcome will have a ripple effect on eternity.
If Jesus cares if the Warriors win how can the game also not matter?
Once again, I’m glad you asked.
The game does matter for the reasons I’ve already mentioned, but it does not matter in one significant way: the outcome of the game has no impact on the value and dignity of any of the coaches or players. We often make the mistake of allowing ourselves to believe that our value and dignity is found in what we can accomplish in this life. The temptation the Warriors are facing is to believe the lie that Satan is telling them: you’re not valuable if you lose this game.
That’s a lie from the pits of Hell. Human value and dignity is not found in winning games or accumulating wealth or popularity. Instead, value and dignity are found in the finished work of Jesus Christ. As image bearers who have sinned against God we have no chance of making ourselves right with God. Our sin leaves our relationship with God eternally broken. Jesus Christ, however, offered Himself as the ultimate and perfect sacrifice for our sins. In dying on the cross and resurrecting three days later Jesus made us right with God and conquered sin and death. All we have to do to be right with God is repent and believe.
Therefore, the game tonight between the Warriors and Grizzlies does not matter when it comes to determining the value and dignity of each of the players and coaches. Their value and dignity, like yours, is found in Christ alone.
Jesus cares if the Warriors win tonight. I don’t know what He has planned for the Warriors, but I can assure you there is a plan. The same is true for you and your team. There’s a plan. It’s for your good and His glory. Trust Him.