He Gets Us

Pastor Matthew Best
4 min readFeb 14, 2024

If I’m not mistaken, this is the second year that the “He Gets Us” ads showed during the Super Bowl. I remember seeing one of the ads — the foot washing ad. And I’ve heard plenty of debate about the ads and the groups funding the ads.

Regardless of what you think about the ads or who sponsored them, I have to say that they got their money worth — it’s the only commercial from the Super Bowl that has generated so much attention. Sure, there were other ads that people enjoyed, found funny, talked about, etc. But the “He Gets Us” ad caused conversation. I have seen Christians debate the ads and the funders. I’ve seen conversation from non-Christians too. Here’s what I know — ads are designed to grab attention and get you to talk about a subject, product, or service. These ads have certainly succeeded in that. And that’s not even looking at the content. It’s just looking purely at these ads from a marketing perspective.

The debate around these ads varies depending on who you are listening to. There’s some who argue that the message behind them, regardless of who the funders are, is powerful. And there are those who point out that it looks like everyone who is doing the washing of the feet is white and that everyone whose feet are washed are somehow on the margins of society in some way raising the question of why and what that represents. There are those who argue that the money could have been better spent serving the poor and outcast rather than showing pictures of caring for the poor and outcast, while others say that Jesus deserves a multi-million-dollar ad campaign to promote caring and concern for others. There are those who point out some of the funders’ beliefs might not match up with the message that is being presented in the campaign (saying that some of the folks are anti-LGBTQ+), which others focus on the message of the ads themselves as being far more important. I’m sure there are other contrasts that you have heard as well.

My goal here is not to weigh in on the ad, the funders, or the content of the ad. What could I possibly add to what has been said? And besides, it seems like many have taken sides on the ad — either for or against it. And once a side has been chosen, we seem pretty intent on sticking to it. As a society we have a tendency to be stuck in a dualistic mindset — is someone on our side, or are they on the other team, whatever team that might be — regardless of whether we are talking about religion, politics, sports, business, or just about anything else.

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Pastor Matthew Best

My name is Matthew Best. I’m an ELCA (Lutheran) pastor who attempts to translate church and churchy stuff into everyday language.