Even with all of the talk surrounding the Kansas City Chiefs, the San Francisco 49ers and Taylor Swift, people still ended up discussing Jesus and the commercial He was featured in.
Promoted by the He Gets Us organization who spent upwards of $100 million total in their marketing campaign, the commercial featuring people washing the feet of others has caused quite a stir following its airing.
According to their website, He Gets Us had a different strategy this year than previous Super Bowls, stating:
As we thought about what to do for this year’s commercial, we reflected on our 2023 TV spot, “Love Your Enemies.” That commercial was all about Hate and Division. Ultimately, it was about pride. Pride says, “I’m right, and you’re wrong.” Every image depicted people in a state of prideful contention, whether it be politicians yelling in a debate or parents fighting at a youth football game.
So we thought that maybe this year, we should focus on the thematic inverse of last year’s commercial — one built on the premise of Love and Unity. And with an upcoming election year that will be filled with division and derision, we decided to focus on one of the most important directives given by Jesus — Love Your Neighbor.
Highlighting the love and servant leadership Jesus exemplified when He washed His disciples feet, He Gets Us appeared to try and emulate this. Using people of various paths of life, the message of the commercial made it’s appearance at the end against a black screen that read, “Jesus Didn’t Teach Hate.”
As it turns out, people on both the left and the right are fuming mad at the commercial.
Many of the critics on the right, stemming from people like social commentator Jason Whitlock who just didn’t care for it to The Babylon Bee’s Joel Berry who surmised that the commercial was trying to sell Jesus as a leftist or using Him to sell a political movement.
There’s a reason the “He Gets Us” commercial didn’t show a liberal washing the feet of someone in a MAGA hat, or a BLM protestor washing an officer’s feet. That would’ve been actually subversive.
Because they were strictly following oppressed v oppressor intersectionality… pic.twitter.com/R1ZS1wkTQ4
— Joel Berry (@JoelWBerry) February 12, 2024
There appears to be a unified theme in much of the criticism, as many social media users pointed to the lack of repentance in the message.
The Blazes Steve Deace was less than pleased with the message in the commercial in his post on X, saying, “Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, not the multitudes of unrepentant sinners as the ad depicts. Instead, for them He freely offered Himself up as a living sacrifice for their sins, which the ad never points out to them. It affirms them in their sin instead.”
How wrong was #HeGetsUs ad at the #SuperBowl ? Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, not the multitudes of unrepentant sinners as the ad depicts. Instead, for them He freely offered Himself up as a living sacrifice for their sins, which the ad never points out to them. It…
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) February 12, 2024
Opinions from those on the left side of the political/social/cultural spectrum were not too favorable either.
Since the He Gets Us organization has ties and funding to groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom, as well as Hobby Lobby co-founder David Green, they have been labeled by the left as a part of the “anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion” movement. Many left-leaning social posters viewed it as a push for Christian nationalism, while others called for churches to be taxed (He Gets Us is not a church).
Regardless which side a person stands on this issue of the He Gets Us campaign, the need for biblical literacy is clear.
Whether we struggle with showing others grace, love or mercy like Jesus does, we must never forget that true repentance and a turning away from the sinful lives we lived before Christ are the essential parts of salvation.
Jesus loves all of us, but does not tolerate the sin we practice. This is why we must turn from it and abandon our flesh while taking up our crosses with Him and grow in the righteousness of God. The Bible teaches people what the God views as righteous and what He views as sin, and without biblical literacy to guide us down the path of righteousness, deception can take hold and instead pull people away from the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.