I woke up this morning to more controversy on social media. This week it’s all about Colin Kaepernick being the face of Nike’s 30th anniversary of the Just Do It ad campaign. Now, I’m not here to debate the political side of having Kaep as the face of your ad, but rather I want to discuss the words of the ad. There is much, as Christians, we can take away from what Nike has to say in the ad. I’m sure that sometime in the future we will see Kaep’s face replaced by a picture of Jesus, but I wanted to get ahead of the curve and write about the ad campaign.
Take a look at Luke 9:23- “And He said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” This verse pulls into sharp focus what Nike was trying to convey in their ad.
- Believe in something- Nike wants you to believe in something, anything, just like CK. Jesus wants you to believe in him. That’s why he puts the qualifier at the beginning of the verse, “If anyone would come after me…” Jesus wants you to follow him, but he wants you to know that not all will follow with the word, “if”
- Sacrifice- The ad tells you that you will need to give something up. We as believers know that is a truth of what we believe. Jesus tells us in this verse that we need to do something in order to understand what sacrifice means: we need to deny ourselves. Now, this is not what the ad campaign has in mind. It wants you to do what Kaepernick did and stand up for real or perceived injustice at the cost of your multi-million dollar job playing football. Jesus wants you to sacrifice all that you are in order to take up a life that is about glorifying the God that created you, sent His Son to die for your sins, and has created a place for you to spend eternity in Heaven with him.
- Everything- I think Nike forgets that Kaepernick still has the opportunity to play football. I’m sure if given the opportunity again, he would take it in a heartbeat. Jesus tells us in the verse that we are to take up our cross daily and follow him. Sacrificing everything for us isn’t just a one-time decision. It is something that we do each and every day. A life that honors Jesus is a decision to follow him that happens once, but it is a daily battle against the flesh. A life that honors him becomes our everything. We carry it with us each and every day. Kaepernick made a decision to kneel for the national anthem, but we make the decision each day to carry our cross and follow Jesus. Kaepernick would say he gave everything up, but we would say we gave up ourselves and inherited Jesus and Heaven. Jesus becomes our everything.