For my reading regimen, I read two books at a time (separate sittings, of course). While reading the dense but classic Christianity & Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen, I needed to read a book alongside that I thought would be an easier read that would balance out all the denseness from Machen’s book. I looked on my bookshelf and I saw the New York Times bestseller Through My Eyes by Tim Tebow. I have read this book before, but I have never reviewed it. The fact that Amazon showed that his book has sold over a million copies has led me to review this book.
Tebow makes it clear that this book is his story through his eyes written from his perspective (p. ix). This is not a theology book. This is not a “how-to” book. This is an autobiography written through his perspective. This book does have some theology in it and I will offer lengthy commentary on it. However, I also understand that this book was published in 2011. Writing from experience (which is subjective), a lot can change in nine years. I tried to mainly review this book as an autobiography. However, after doing my analysis on some of the theology in this book, my reviewed ended up having lengthier analysis on his theology compared to the autobiographical content. While that is not really warranted since this book is, according to my subjective estimate, about 95% autobiography and 5% theology (plus or minus a percentage point), the theological analysis could not afford to be short-changed at all. Moreover, there was more theology that I could have analyzed. I chose not to given the fact I went longer than I thought I would in my theological analysis (this also being the second straight book review that I have gone longer than anticipated). The Bible does state to test all things (Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1). I did test that 5% of theology. As stated again, I did not expect to go as long as I did.
This book flows excellently. After a preface, Tebow spends 21 chapters telling his story. The book progresses from the beginning of his life through his rookie season with the Denver Broncos. He concludes his book with an afterword and some acknowledgments. The chapters are rather easy to read. Moreover, they’re not all that long. The longest chapter is twenty pages. Most chapters have a single Bible verse ripped out of context shown below the chapter title on the chapters starting page. While I am sure the intent was harmless, I frowned when I saw that Philippians 4:13 and Jeremiah 29:11 were some of those verses (pp. 37, 75). Thankfully, not every chapter beginning had only a single-verse citation (pp. 109, 165, 181, 243). Moreover, not every instance of a single-verse citation was frown-worthy; Tebow’s full citation of John 3:16 made me very happy in light of the fact I have seen pastors twist that Gospel passage into a law passage (p. 197).
The book’s inside and back covers are also worth analyzing. Chuck Norris, Darius Rucker, Tony Dungy and Urban Meyer endorse Tebow, the book or both. Dungy notes Tebow’s Christian character in his endorsement of Tebow’s book. Tebow in his book (and even in life) is not shy about his being a Christian.
The twenty-one chapters are not divided into particular sections, which is completely fine. If I had to divide the chapters into sections (and what I am doing here is completely subjective), I would group chapters 1-8 as a mostly “pre-college” section. I would then group chapters 9-20 as a definitively “college” section. Finally, I make chapter twenty-one stand alone as a “post-college” section. Certainly anyone who reads this book can group the chapters into a way that best suits them. For the purpose of my review, I divide the chapters the way I do in an effort to construct a “timeline” order of things.
- [Mostly] Pre-College (Chapters 1-8, pages 1-88)
I stated earlier that chapters 1-8 were a “mostly” pre-college section. The first chapter could really serve as an introduction; over only two pages, Tebow discusses his time at the 2008 Heisman Trophy Presentation. It’s the only chapter that is really out of order with the rest of the book (hence why I thought it would have served as an excellent introduction). Tebow then begins with the start of his life in the next chapter, chapter two. Taking the reader through Tebow’s eyes, Tebow talks about his birth, early childhood, his Uncle Dick, his dog Otis, life in the Philippines, Jacksonville Trinity Christian Academy, the “Burly Man Retreat”, homeschooling, farm labor, and deciding what college to attend (among other things). No less than two things jumped out to me in this section. First, Tebow is a phenomenal storyteller. As he was telling the story about his dog, Otis, I almost cried (pp. 62-65). I won’t show long-form quotes in an effort not to spoil the story. If you read this out loud and you’re dog lover, you might choke up a bit.
The second thing that jumped out was a quote that seemed to be a recurring quote in this book. I show this quote in its context as follows (pp. 33-34; bolding done by me):
At some point, still in Little League, I believed and imagined that everyone around me was also trying to improve. In retrospect, I’m not really sure how much most kids were training at that age, but at the time, I was convinced everyone was working hard to get better.
And that’s when I adopted one of my mantras for getting stronger and better and for all my workouts:
Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
Because I assumed that everyone was trying to get better, I began looking for ways that I could get an edge, an advantage that would serve me in competition. I would end up doing things above and beyond whatever as expected to get an edge. I also began working out at odd times of the day and night, thinking, I’ll bet there are no other kids in Jacksonville working out right now. Whether that was actually true didn’t really matter — what mattered to me was that I thought it was true. It was just another thing that motivated me to work longer and harder.
Italicized quotes like the words in bold above manifest themselves seemingly throughout this book. I really appreciated the first italicized quote in the above section; I find that one to be very true.
2. College (Chapters 9-20; pp. 89-242)
The overwhelming majority of this book covers Tebow’s time (see what I did there?) at the University of Florida. That quote I highlighted earlier appears in chapter nine albeit in a technically different form. This is Tebow’s “mantra” (p. 94):
Somewhere he is out there, training while I am not. One day, when we meet, he will win.
Obviously, the above quote is a motivational type of mantra. I believe (this is simply my interpretation of Tebow’s mantra) the idea is to train when the opponent is not training. If you’re not training, be sure you know your opponent is training, so get your butt in gear. I must admit that that mantra is even a good one for Christian apologists like myself. My spin on it would be, “Somewhere Christian apologists and followers of other religions are out there studying while you’re slacking. One day, if you meet them, you might get schooled.” I certainly do not want to get schooled. Conversely, I don’t necessarily need to do any schooling. I just need to preach Christ and Him crucified (2 Corinthians 4:5; 1 Corinthians 2:1-3:8). I also need to be best prepared to both promote sound Christian doctrine and refute any doctrine contradicting sound Christian doctrine (Titus 1:9). Finally, I need to call people to repent and be forgiven (Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:36-49).
Tebow describes his time in college with great detail. He describes the games he played with such detail that you imagine seeing the game unfold (pp. 97-101). He also transitions in between years very well (pp. 123-134). I liked how he described play calls, injuries suffered, and football positions (pp. 143-144, 155, 179, 199). I really appreciated his inclusion of one of the best all-time speeches given by a player after a loss (in his case, after a loss to Ole Miss in 2008; p. 183). I remember seeing this speech on ESPN. I’m glad he included the transcript in full (p. 185):
To the fans and everybody in Gator Nation, I’m sorry. I’m extremely sorry. We were hoping for an undefeated season. That was my goal, something Florida has never done here.
I promise you one thing, a lot of good will come out of this. You will never see any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of the season. You will never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of the season.
You will never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season. God bless.
If his “a lot of good will come out of this” involved a National Championship, then Tebow made good on his promise; Florida won the BCS title game that season (p. 205). Moreover, it’s worth noting that Tebow put John 3:16 on his eyeblack for that game (p. 202). 94 million people searched for that verse on Google during and immediately following that game (p. 209). Needless to say, I’m glad Tebow made good on his promise; that Gospel verse in full in incredible to say the least.
3. Post-College (Chapter 21; pages 243-254)
In this closing chapter, Tebow descriptively tells of his time preparing for the 2010 NFL Draft (pp. 243-247). Tebow’s mantra shown in the first two divisions of this book manifests itself again in the words, “Somewhere he is out there…” (p. 244). Tebow also gives details on the few games he played during his rookie season (pp. 248-254). One of the strengths of this book is his ability to descriptively take you through his life during these various times. It’s no wonder this book is called Through My Eyes.
Because this book is 95% autobiography and 5% theology (plus or minus percentage point), I was hoping not to do an exhaustive look at the theology I spotted throughout this book. I picked no more than three areas I spotted that need some cleanup. There were more I could have analyzed. Despite picking only three areas, I still went long. I did not think going short in any area would have been beneficial, though.
My first area of concern is in the area of vision-casting. Vision-casting is a New Age and unbiblical practice. I do want to note that the context of Tebow’s vision-casting was not in the realm of theology or church. Nevertheless, I have a concern that this unbiblical practice could merge into his theology (assuming it has not done so already given the book was written in 2011). Here are the relevant quotes where Tebow made mention of vision-casting:
But whether you’re talking about being a coach or being a player — the thing that’s hard is leadership. In the past, I have worked at casting a vision and modeling appropriate behavior, but this season, I was faced with the challenge of getting through to guys who were wired differently than I was. I had to keep finding new ways to motivate others.p. 150
Personally, even though it had been a thrill to win the Heisman and the other awards, our not having a better season as a team diminished the luster. I would continue to work hard, as always, and continue to cast a vision for the other guys. And I was hoping it would connect with the guys in 2008 in a way it hadn’t in 2007.p. 163
Earlier this year, I reviewed Warren Smith’s Deceived On Purpose. Here is an excerpt from that article showing a brief glimpse of the bad root of vision-casting:
I have stated on multiple occasions in the past that Rick Warren is a liar in addition to being a false teacher. Seeing that Warren did not tell the reader who Siegel is represents his lying via the act of omission. Smith concludes his chapter with a very eye-opening fact about a New Age book he came across as a brand new Christian (p. 56). If you go to the endnotes of this section, you find that the book was The Fourth Dimension: The Key To Putting Your Faith To Work For A Successful Life by Dr. Paul Yonggi Cho (p. 184). Here is the eye-opening fact that jumped out at me (pp. 56-57):
The book was filled with everything I had just left behind in the New Age. Cloaked in Christian language, it encouraged the reader to use guided visualization (now often called “vision casting”) and other metaphysical techniques to gain whatever it was they wanted. Pastors were encouraged to “visualize and dream bigger churches,” or “a new mission field,” or whatever else they thought would improve their church and ministry. The introduction to the book was written by Robert Schuller. In his endorsement of the book, which included these New Age visualization techniques, Schuller had written, “Don’t try to understand it. Just start to enjoy it! It’s true. It works. I tried it.”
That eye-opening fact jumped out at me because I know for a fact vision-casting is absolutely unbiblical. I had no idea that that practice originated from the New Age. I have seen many seeker-driven churches endorse vision-casting. In fact, a church I used to attend for a while recently endorsed the practice. It was for that reason (among many others) that I currently reject both that church and what I call Big Evangelicalism (Big Eva for short).
Pastor Chris Rosebrough of Fighting For The Faith has done extensive work on why vision-casting is not biblical. If you watch the excellent documentary Church of Tares or view this cultish material Dan Southerland gave about a decade ago, you’ll find more information on why the practice is unbiblical and dangerous. The fact Tebow seemingly approves of it is a concern of mine. The practice certainly does not belong in the church. Again, it is worth noting that Tebow’s quotes on vision-casting were not in the context of a church or theology. Having stated that, the fact he engaged in such a thing in 2011 cannot be ignored.
My second area of concern (and perhaps the most important) is in the area of the Gospel. Nowhere in Tebow’s book does he give directly to the reader a sinner’s prayer. I did not expect that because this book is an autobiography. Tebow did, however, talk about the Gospel. While discussing his trip to the Philippines at the age of fifteen, Tebow explains how he talks to students at the schools there (pp. 59-61). Here is some text on his talking about the Gospel (pp. 60-61):
Then I talk about the gospel. The word “gospel” means “good news.” So I’ll ask, “Do you like good news? The good news is that God loves you! He loves you so much that He sent His son Jesus to die for you. He made you special and wants to have a personal relationship with you and give you eternal life. But our biggest problem is that we have sinned. Because God is a Holy God, He can never have fellowship with sin. Sin makes a wall between us and God. Because Jesus had no sin He could die for our sins on the cross. Because Jesus died on the cross for your sins and rose from the dead, He has the power to forgive your sins, make you His child, and give you a home in heaven. That is the best news you could ever hear. You can’t earn the free gift of eternal life, you can’t pay for the free gift of eternal life, you can only receive it as a free gift, by putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone.”
And then I always ends with an invitation to pray with me if they want to trust Jesus, praying something like this: “Dear Jesus, I know I am a sinner and need a Savior. Thank you for dying on the cross for me. I open the door of my heart and ask you to come in. Save me now, Jesus. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for coming into my heart. Thank you that God is my Father and I am His child. Thank you that I have a home in heaven, and I will come and live with you some day. In Jesus’s name, Amen.”
Finally, I ask them several questions. “Did you ask Jesus in your heart?” “Where is Jesus right now?” “Is He ever going to leave you?” “He promised to never leave you, to never forsake you, to be with you forever. If you have Jesus and you died today, where would you be?” “If God is your Father and God is my Father, what does that make us?”
There is stuff to like in the above paragraphs. Conversely, there is some stuff that needs some serious cleanup. It is good that Tebow mentioned sin, but where is repentance? It is good that Tebow mentioned the need of a Savior, but what exactly do people need to be saved from? Also, if God made me special, why do I need a Savior? Moreover, how do the kids there know exactly that they have sinned? What exactly is a sin? Where is the need to be born again (John 3:1-21)?
Tebow could have really hit his Gospel presentation out of the park by backing it up with Scripture. After all, if he found the time and space to put Scripture below each chapter title, why did he not do that for undoubtedly the most important subject of his book? He could have gone in depth by explaining that by default, we are all born dead in trespasses and sins. This means that everyone already has a relationship with God. By default, it is a bad one.
Ephesians 2:1-10 explains (NASB):
2 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
The Bible is clear that people are born dead in trespasses and sins (2:1-3). God’s being rich in mercy makes one alive in Christ (2:4). Furthermore, it is by grace through faith that one is saved (2:5-9). It is not based on works (2:9). Being saved by grace through faith turns the bad relationship with God into a good relationship with God.
If you do not believe what Ephesians 2:1-10 states, I would ask you please look at the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:1-17. Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever stolen something, even if it was small? Have you ever used God’s name in vain? Jesus said that whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery in the heart (Matthew 5:27-28). Jesus also said that if you ever get angry at someone, you’ve committed murder in the heart (Matthew 5:21-26). Just the mere thoughts of adultery and murder make you guilty of the very acts themselves. Tebow nowhere used the Law to convict the kids of their sins. Tebow instead basically spoke in the abstract about sin. Through the Law comes knowledge of sin (Romans 3:1-7:25; Galatians 3:19-25). Tebow could have used the Law lawfully to make sin much more confrontational (1 Timothy 1:8).
Please understand that it only takes one murder to be a murderer, one lie to be a liar and so forth. David said in Psalm 51:5 that he was conceived in sin. Genesis 6:5 states that every intent of the thoughts of man’s heart is only evil continually. Clearly, man has a sin problem. Romans 3:23 states that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Man is in big trouble with God because of his sin. This is more amplified by the fact that perfection is the standard (Matthew 5:48).
Now, some people try to justify their sin by trying to balance it out with the good deeds that they have done. However, if you were to try that in a court of law, the judge would throw the book at you. A good judge would not accept a bribe. He would cast you off into jail. God likewise will not accept a bribe, for there is no partiality with Him (Deuteronomy 10:17; Ephesians 6:9).
Thankfully, Jesus came to solve the sin problem over 2000 years ago (Isaiah 53:1-12). You and I broke the law. Jesus paid the fine (Matthew 26:14-28:20). This means that the judge can do what’s legally right in dismissing your case. He can say, “This person has broken the law, but someone has paid his fine. He’s out of here.” This is good news.
There are two things a person must do. He must repent. This means to turn from his sin (Mark 1:16; Luke 24:36-49; 2 Timothy 2:19-26; Acts 17:30-31). He must also put his trust in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31, 17:30-31; Romans 4:1-25, 10:1-17; Galatians 3:1-14; John 6:26-29). These gifts of repentance and faith are granted by God (Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 2:22-26). If you repent and put your trust in the Savior Jesus Christ, He will forgive you of your sins and grant you everlasting life (John 6:47).
As mentioned, Tebow could have been both more confrontational and less abstract in his discussion of sin. Instead of telling them they’ve been made special, he should really focus on the need to repent and believe the Gospel. I’m glad he emphasized that eternal life is a gift. Nevertheless, his Gospel presentation needs some cleanup.
My third area of analysis is his Scripture interpretation. The verse underneath the chapter heading for chapter sixteen is Luke 12:48. That verse (NASB) states, “but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” The bolded part was all he quoted. While that is a bit of an issue since that verse is part of a larger thought, I will not focus on that area. Instead, I focus on something else; that would be his brief explanation of Matthew 25:14-30. Here it is (pp. 172-173; bolding done by me):
As this chapter’s opening scripture says, to whom much is given much is expected. I’ve heard that scripture since I was a young boy. There’s a spiritual aspect to that, of course, which we read about in the story of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. The basic lesson of the parable for me is that if God gave us specific abilities (talents), He wants us to maximize our talents and not bury or waste them. He wants us to go out there and double them. I think part of that is to go out there and continue to work — regardless of whether anyone is watching. This isn’t just about when we’re out there with cameras rolling and pointed in our faces. I may say I’m playing for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. True. But it’s not just that. It’s about going out every day, in every setting, and working hard. It’s about being dedicated and playing hard because I honestly believe that God receives joy when He sees me doing that with the skills he blessed me with. When you, too, do that, He sees you living the life He has given you and loving and respecting the abilities He’s given you by working as hard as you possibly can to improve them.
There are no less than two issues with the above paragraph. First, in reading this book, the only information I have on who Tebow’s audience is in this book is found on the page before the “Table of Contents.” That page states, “To all those who have been told that they couldn’t achieve their dreams…” (unofficially p. v). If Tebow is suggesting that God receives joy when anyone does well with the skills they’re blessed with, that’s an issue, for without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6; Romans 8:7-8). Only Christians can please God because only Christians have trusting saving faith in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of sins. Second, Jesus gave a specific reason for why He spoke in parables. Parables were not given as a means for providing people universal lessons. Jesus explains why He does such a thing in Matthew 13:1-23 (NASB):
13 That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea. 2 And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.
3 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4 and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.6 But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. 8 And others fell on the good soil and *yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.”
10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 12 For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.13 Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,
‘You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;
You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;
15 For the heart of this people has become dull,
With their ears they scarcely hear,
And they have closed their eyes,
Otherwise they would see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart and return,
And I would heal them.’
16 But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
18 “Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. 20 The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 23 And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”
Jesus states He spoke in parables to both reveal the truth to His disciples and obscure the truth from unbelievers (verses 11-12). His speaking in parables had nothing to do with generating basic universal lessons for all people. Since the Bible is all about Jesus (John 5:39-45; John 20:31; Luke 24:44-45) and since Jesus came to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15), it does not make any sense to simply read into the parables whatever life lessons suit us. In fact, when looking at the parable that Tebow mentioned, one finds that the talents have absolutely nothing to do with abilities. The Greek word for “talent” in the passage is talanton. This refers to measures of weight. For context of the parable Tebow mentioned, I look at Matthew 25 in full (NASB). For convenience, I bold the verses he mentioned:
25 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent.3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them,4 but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5 Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and beganto sleep. 6 But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11 Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.
14 “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey.16 Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. 17 In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. 18 But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “Now after a long time the master of those slaves *came and *settled accounts with them. 20 The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
22 “Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
24 “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’
26 “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. 27 Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. 28 Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’
29 “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 30 Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
The chapter features three parables. All three parables address the subject of salvation. I have cited the parable of the sheep and the goats (25:31-46) in some of my posts (like this one). The first one (25:1-13), like the third one, also has to do with salvation and judgment. Matthew 25:14-30 also pertains to salvation and judgment. It only makes sense for it to be that way in light of the sandwiching parables. In fact, I have heard one pastor state an aid to interpreting parables is to find where the Gospel is. That is not a bad idea given that the three parables in Matthew 25 pertain to salvation in some way, shape or form.
As it pertains to Matthew 25:14-30, one key word should jump out; that word is “faithful.” The Greek word for that word is “pistos.” That means “to trust.” That same word as well as the word “pistis” (a synonymous term) are used throughout Scripture to refer to trusting saving faith in Jesus Christ alone (see Hebrews 11; Philippians 3; Romans 3-4). Faith always has an object. In the parable, the master in that parable is Jesus Christ. What was of the object of the faithful servants’ faith? The master. And who is the master? Jesus Christ. Simply put, Tebow’s Bible interpretation skills could use some work. What the Bible passages mean to us and/or whatever life lessons we can gain from the Bible passages are irrelevant. What matters most is what the Bible passages mean, period.
SOMETHING TO NOTE
It is important to understand that this book was published in 2011. A lot can change in nine years. Tebow’s theology may have gotten better. It also may have gotten worse. I would not really know since I have not really been following too much of him since he left the NFL (or since the NFL gave up on him, but that’s for another day). Last time I saw him on TV he was hosting some show about a million dollar mile. I’m sure he is still a phenomenal storyteller.
Tim Tebow is an excellent storyteller. Through My Eyes is a simple read that makes for good casual reading. Any Christian who reads this should read it with discernment (something that should be done with every book). I personally would not call this “must own” status only because these types of books are not theological enough for me to fully recommend (which is fine). Nevertheless, any casual reader would find this book to be a nice read. I enjoyed the storytelling in the book and I would certainly read any other book Tim Tebow produces, for he is a good author. I have my reservations about his theology for now, but I like his authorship.
NOTE: In looking to contact Tebow, I submitted my review to his foundation via the website https://www.timtebowfoundation.org/connect. I also tweeted my review. I tagged him in it.