It is a well-known fact around the world, that many sports fans rely on the home team winning more games than the visiting team.
Sports Illustrated once concluded that this is indeed true. Home field advantage exists no matter the sport or level at which the game is played. Teams win more often when they are playing on their Home Field rather than when they play on the other teams field.
Many people think it is because of the many fans of the home team packed into the stadium; it’s not. Fans did not change the team’s performance. According to an article in Sports Illustrated, it’s the “Officials’. The fact of the matter is, Officials don’t like it when they are booed. According to the article, in baseball, “When the game gets close, they call fewer fouls or penalties against the home team or call for more strikes against visiting batters. Larger and louder fans doinfluence the calls from the officials. The referees naturally (and often unintentionally) respond to the pressure from the crowd. Then they try to please the angry fans and make the calls that will lessen the pain of crowd disapproval. In the end, the referees’ people-pleasing response can impact the result of the game“.
This is why many sports now have “instant replay.” Instant Replay is used when someone believes the referee may have gotten the call wrong, or to prove the call was accurate. Officials from a replay booth look at the play without the emotions of the fans ringing in their ears. They have an advantage because they can look at the play from every angle and even see it in slow motion many times.
Is this Homefield advantage real with our great Judge and referee Jesus? The simple answer is NO. Jesus is always fair and accurate when He judges both our actions and the actions of others whether we are at Home or Away.
Sometimes Jesus wants us to leave our comfort (home field) and go where we are the visitors. We, Christians, are often called to go to places where Jesus is not popular, or where He is even hated. Many Christian Missionaries have been imprisoned and sometimes killed for preaching the Gospel. These places are where the love of Christ is needed the most. God’s calling and sending Christians to near and far away places where they will face imprisonment or danger was happening in the New Testament days and is still happening today.
Let us look at one of these examples we have in the Bible; the Apostle Paul.
Philippians 1:12-14 says, “And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.”
Do you notice where Paul is while writing this letter? Yes, he is in prison. He was put in prison by the Romans because the Jews were mad at him for preaching the Gospel in Jerusalem. They hated Paul and were trying to stop him from proclaiming Jesus as our Savior and Lord. He eventually ended up in prison in Rome, where he writes this letter to the church in Philippi. He is on the enemy’s home field! But Paul knows that if he has Jesus, and is on Jesus’ Team, he can take the home-field advantage away, or win the game even though he is not at Home!
Paul knew that his friends were united with him in the great work of advancing the cause of Christ in the world. So, he could even greet the prospect of death with great joy. Even from his imprisonment in Rome, he rejoices with Christ’s Followers and asks them to rejoice with him.
You see, if we have Jesus as our team leader, we can always have home-field advantage! It is great to be on Jesus’ team!
Let’s be like Paul and have far more “confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear ” wherever we find ourselves in our daily walk with the Lord.
Are you on Jesus’ winning team? Are you telling others about Christ even if the crowd isn’t happy with the message?
Go to Romans Road to Salvation and/or Prayer of Rededication