Outside the Walls: The Ultimate Underdog

Nick sat on the bench with little hope of ever getting in the game.

It became clear he would only be a backup quarterback for a mediocre college team, so he decided to transfer to another school. Although he got more playing time, it resulted in more losses than wins for the team.

Only one NFL team took a shot on him, but it didn’t take long for him to be moved from the starting slot to the bench, then to backup. He was traded a few times and then found himself at what seemed to be the end of his short-lived career.

He almost quit the game of football, but after a cry of desperation to the Lord, he felt a peace about giving it one more season. Everyone counted him out — along with the team to which he was traded.

Then, in the 14th game of the season, the coach called out “Foles!” and sent him into the game. In only a few short weeks he moved from backup quarterback to Super Bowl MVP as he led the Philadelphia Eagles to their first world championship. The underdog became the ultimate champion.

Jesus was partial to the underdog. He always seemed to go after those that others had counted out. He grabbed a few fishermen and turned them into the leaders of a movement. A promiscuous woman became God’s spokeswoman for an entire community. Jesus looked at a young boy’s gift of a few loaves of bread and fish and made him the hero for 5,000 people. When everyone else was talking about the crooked Zacchaeus, Jesus talked to him, and his life was forever changed. Ultimately, a dead man named Lazarus got up and walked out of his own tomb when Jesus called out his name.

Isn’t that your story? The King of the Universe called you and me out of our own graves and into a game so full of life. He trades our wooden idols for crowns of righteousness. Then he makes an unpredictable move: He uses us to join Him in calling out to underdogs just like ourselves.

Who have you written off as a lost cause? A family member may seem hopeless to you now, in a state of addiction, and you can’t see a way out for them. You are at a loss for words for your neighbor whose marriage that seems impossible to repair is slipping away. You ride by government-assisted apartments and wonder if there is any hope for the children you see playing in the streets.

Don’t give up on them. Jesus is calling you into the game.