Jesus and the Olympics

Aug 04 2020

I enjoy following the Olympics. The competition, the athletes’ backstories, the surprises, the heartbreaks, and even the behind-the-scenes operation of the games.

During periods of Olympic interest, it strikes me to ask, Why didn’t Jesus talk about sports?

Jesus talks about life — farming and fishing, fields and trees, building a tower. Sports were not off-limits to the religious people of the day. So why doesn’t Jesus talk about sports?

Simply put, sports did not make a significant imprint on Jesus’ experience or culture.

One reason is that Jewish participation in Roman sports posed some major incompatibilities in the participant’s “uniforms.”

So even though archeologists have uncovered a sports complex (hippodrome) located in ancient Jerusalem, this find does not factor into Jesus’ story.

Jesus apparently had other interests and occupations, even though sports were a part of ancient life.

Knowing the context helps us frame and tell Jesus’ story.

Connect with Jesus’ experience.

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