Denver Broncos' Tim Tebow continued to wow fans on the field in an impressive games Sunday, but eerie coincidences related to John 3:16 have made the gripping game more memorable. The Broncos overtook the Pittsburgh Steelers in an overtime victory of 29-23 following Tebow's astounding play.
Known to praise God and Jesus Christ after games, the devout quarterback shocked fans when he passed 316 yards in ten throws against the Steelers, setting an NFL playoff record by averaging 31.6 yards per completion.
The numbers are startling as Tebow has been known for years to favor Bible verse John 3:16, a beloved verse among Christians, which states: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 is one of the most famous and widely quoted verses from the Bible. According to Bible Gateway Blog, John 3:16 is the most frequently searched verse online and has been nicknamed the Gospel in a nutshell. The Bible verse appears in the third chapter of John in the New Testament.
In the chapter, Jesus visits a member of the ruling council, Nicodemus. After witnessing Jesus' miracles, Nicodemus is convinced that he has been sent to Jerusalem from God. John 3:16 presents Jesus' lesson to Nicodemus: faith in Jesus is the road to eternal life.
As if Tebow's throws were not enough proof of divine intervention, Sports Business Journal reporter, John Ourand, also reports that the final quarter-hour rating for the night, which included the winning score, was 31.6.
Tebow famously painted favored verses from the Bible on his face in eye-black paint as a quarterback for the Florida Gators prior to the NCAA ban in 2010. During the 2009 BCS Championship game, Tebow wore an eye-black face inscription with the words John 3:16. Led by Tebow's two touchdown passes, the Gators beat the Oklahoma Sooners 24-14.
WWE's Stone Cold Steve Austin first popularized John 3:16 for sports fans in the mid-90s, but the wrestling legend claims he will give up his nickname Austin 3:16 if Tebow can throw 316 yards in next Sunday's game.
A guy named John was using it before me ... so if Tebow can do it again, more power to him! the wrestler told TMZ.
After defeating Jake The Snake Roberts in the final round of the 1996 King of the Ring match, Austin notoriously told Roberts, You sit there and you thump your Bible, and you say your prayers, and it didn't get you anywhere! Talk about your psalms, talk about John 3:16... Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!
Austin 3:16 has since been known as a popular wrestling catchphrase. T-shirts with the slogan are one of the bestselling WWE merchandise pieces of all time.
The young quarterback has inspired similar cult-like fandom. Fans have replaced Tebow with Jesus on their jerseys and tebowing has taken the nation by storm. Some commenters wonder if Tebow can inspire parts of America's youth to reaffirm their Christian faith. Following the Steelers/Broncos game Sunday, John 3:16 has remained one of the most frequently searched phrases online this week.
In addition to the strange statistical coincidences related to John 3:16, a peculiar mile high halo-like smoke ring was also allegedly seen Sunday on the field after the Broncos scored their first field goal.
Mark Neuman-Lee, an attendee of the Steelers/Broncos game and photographer of the mile high halo, told the HuffingtonPost that he had never seen anything like the halo before.
The mysterious halo has many fans scratching their heads and wondering if the ring could be a sign from a higher power. Others claim the ring was only the remnants of fireworks that went off earlier in the afternoon.