Being in New York, all I have heard over the past week is that Eli Manning and Mark Sanchez are two of the elite quarterbacks in the game of football. Yes, Manning has won a Super Bowl and Sanchez has made it to two straight AFC Championship games. However, the experts do not see them as quarterbacks who fit into the same category as a Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers.
With all the elite talk, I wanted to look up the definition of the word elite. Webster’s dictionary defines elite as the best of a class. It is hard to put Eli Manning into that elite category when he threw 25 interceptions in the 2010 season. Manning said on the Michael Kay show on 1050 ESPN Radio NY earlier this week that he was in Tom Brady’s class in terms of the elite quarterbacks.
Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan also said this week that his third year quarterback should be considered as one of the game’s elite. Ryan said “When you talk about elite quarterbacks, I think he’s an elite quarterback because he wins the big games.” Sanchez has won many road playoff games, but the stats for him don’t scream the elite quarterback.
When we profess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we don’t need to have all the numbers to be considered elite in God’s eyes. Ultimately, the Lord is the elite and no one can measure up to Him! That is why we need Jesus in our life in order to make it into heaven and only His grace can get us there. It is not the best that Jesus saves, but it is the lost that become found when they see Christ.
An example of this comes in the gospel of Matthew. In Jesus’ time, there were a group of people called the Pharisees who saw themselves as the elite of the Jewish people. They did not view the sinners in society as people who deserved God’s love and only focused on following every single point in the Law of Moses.
When Jesus called Matthew, a tax collector, to be his disciple, the Pharisees are furious that he would even want to be in the same company as a man who extorted money from the people, yet alone want to eat with him at his house. Jesus tells them that He came to help those people. “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matthew 9:13)
In today’s world, we tend to not focus on the athletes that are not the game’s best. They don’t get the attention from the media as much as the best do. However, the Lord looks on those with favor who do not bring attention to themselves for their own gain.
Today, I exhort you to think about others and not look as yourself as elite over anybody else. Instead, I pray that you remain humble just as our Lord and Savior did when He died on the cross for the sins of the world. “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:8). Jesus is the only one who is elite over all things and we need to look to Him and not our own works in order to be saved.