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PHOENIX — Sunday became the day to gather and worship God in the Bible’s New Testament but the NFL took it for its own purposes decades ago and now millions of Americans idolize professional football more than their Creator on that day.
At no time is this more true than Super Bowl Sunday.
But this Super Bowl Sunday when hundreds of millions of football fans will tune it to watch the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles play, they will be watching a game in which both star quarterbacks are Christians.
Patrick Mahomes is an evangelical Christian. Jalen Hurts is Baptist.
Both are saved. Both are on a mission from God.
Mahomes And Hurts Openly Discuss Faith
“I know that I am here for a reason, to glorify Him,” Mahomes said during one of his press conferences during the last week. “It means everything, not only about my football career but all the decisions that I’ve made.
“I have a faith backing, and I know why I am here. It’s not about winning football games. It’s about glorifying Him.”
Hurts is more reserved than Mahomes in how he carries himself. But his faith in God and its importance is no less obvious.
“I feel like you go through things and kind of have moments where you have to lean on your faith and that’s something that I have come to from college,” Hurts said. “A scripture I lean on heavily is John 13:7 … and I feel along with that faith is a lot of work.”
That verse reads:
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.’ ”
“I feel like I was going through some things in college that nobody else was going through,” Hurts said. “The verse reminds me to be patient, and stay diligent. Faith has limitless possibilities. I know my strength comes from God.”
Mahomes Shares Favorite Bible Verse
Mahomes shared that he has a tattoo reminding him on his favorite Bible verse which is Acts 20:7-12.
“Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together. And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was killed. But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, “Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him.” Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed. And they brought the young man in alive, and they were not a little comforted.”
“It’s about being half in and half out on God,” Mahomes said. “That’s the interpretation I took from it, and how you can’t be half in and half out with your faith in God. So that was the Bible verse that kind of stuck with me, that kind of told me that I needed to be fully in.”
Hurst was reared in the church. He attended every Sunday because, well, that’s how it was among his family’s congregation. And now he carries that teaching and faith.
Jalen Hurts Answers God’s Call
“I am who God called me to be,” Hurts said. “Control what you can, put the work in, never lose the faith and usually it works out. I lean on my faith, my foundation, my family, and the people that were around me through everything.”
Mahomes was raised a Christian by his parents and it has become a key part of his football success because his faith offers him peace amid the chaos of the game.
“It relieves the pressure of playing the football game because I know I’m on that football field to glorify Him before everything,” Mahomes said. “It’s not about winning or losing. It’s about going out there being the best I can in His name. I feel like I’ve grown in my faith the last few years and I feel that’s given me more sense of who I am and why I play the game that I play.”
The fact Mahomes is a Christian has been on display for a while.
It was definitely obvious after the AFC Championship Game which Mahomes played with a sprained ankle that might have kept others off the field.
Mahomes suffered the sprain against Jacksonville in a divisional round playoff game the week before. For the next seven days between games he did the natural things of getting treatments for the injury. And he did the supernatural thing of praying for healing.
“I want to thank God, man. He healed my body this week,” Mahomes said on CBS in a postgame interview. “To battle through that, He gave me the strength to be out here.”
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Job well done by their parents.