Jesus and the PGA Championship

Ever see 40,000 people walking around?  It’s not a sight you see every day.  I was an eyewitness today.

I saw the object of their attention and admiration.  Where he went, they went.  Thousands upon thousands.  If this was an overtly religious event, it would be a cult.  If it was political, it would be a coronation.  It was neither.  It was a sporting event; the PGA Championships in Minnesota.

The object of all the attention?  Tiger Woods.  It is hard to think of any other human figure today who could gather such a walking mass of humanity who would pay outrageous ticket and vending prices just to be near him.  His good golf shots created a roar that echoed and reverberates across the course with an auditory power reserved for the shouts of conquering armies.  A blind man could enjoy the experience.

As I watched and listened, I found myself blinking biblical thoughts.  The eye of my mind raced back in time to 2,000 years ago and another mass of humanity moment.  What must those days have been like?  There were no flights to Galilee.  No interstates.  No vendors or beverage carts.  Yet thousands upon thousands walked just to be near him.   Massive crowds racing ahead in the road so they could see him (cue the Zacceus video: Matt. 4:25, 8:1, 13:2, 14:14, 15:30, 19:2, 20:29).  Imagine the roars of the crowd as Jesus healed the sick, lame, broken, and blind.  That would be even more exciting than a 10 foot birdie putt, don’t you think?  I really haven’t considered the sound effect of thousands witnessing a miracle.  Think of the roar.  Awesome.

As I sat there, I also thought of Jesus’ response to them.  He was no prima donna or celebrity type.  He loved the crowds but not like an athlete who tips his hat or possibly gives a wave of the hand.  These are not potential buyers of signature clubs or apparel.  These are the very ones he came to die for and Jesus loved them as individuals.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36 (ESV) Tiger Woods (and all the other golfers) walked past me without even a glance.  They are like the rest of us, busy doing things we busy ourselves doing.  Jesus was strikingly different.  He didn’t heal the masses, he healed individuals.  These men and women are now famous for receiving Messianic power and attention; the lame man at the pool Bethsaida, the bleeding woman, the blind man with the loud cry, and many others.

Are they so different than us?  Is Jesus so different in his ministry today?  Even from his exalted place, he sees me along the road of life, he hears my cry for help and healing.  I am the leper.  I am the deaf man.  While I may be one person in a mass of humanity, Jesus sees me.  Steve DeWitt.   He deals with me as a person.  He is the King of Glory AND the lover of my soul.

Blink.

Nice shot.  I’ll clap with the other thousands.  But my heart is blinking back to the real Hero and looking forward to the shouts of billions, Worthy is the Lamb!

[1]Thousands that came to him, even in remote areas.  There were no crowd control ropes or security force.  The people

Mark 3:10 (ESV)
10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him.

Luke 5:1 (ESV)
1 On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret,

Luke 8:42 (ESV)
42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As Jesus went, the people pressed around him.

Luke 8:45 (ESV)
45 And Jesus said, Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!”

[2]


[1]  The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2]  The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

© 2009 Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction.

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2 comments

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  1. Melissa

    Quite a difference from your other writing–stylistically. Great to read and great to truly ‘know’. I didn’t think anything related to golf could stir me but somehow, it happened. Neat.

  2. Joe Gifford

    Was really disappointed last week at the Barclays on 18 when Tiger missed the putt to tie the lead… Not because he missed it but because he used Gods name in vein after he missed it and all of the world if watching it could read his lips plain as day. Great article… Really enjoyed reading it.

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