How to Love the Jerks and the Dufuses
Preacher: Steve MacDonald
Want to make sure that we plug Sunday school classes which change Sunday school classes next month starts new classes will have. Matt Brady you’re in the House is that correct and then I think Ed Swanson is in here I don’t know what the classes are but I know they’ll be good so it’s a good time if you’ve not been coming to Sunday school to get in at the beginning of the class you know have to worry about I’m not quite up to speed but it’s really a good chance to in a conversational setting kind of explore the Bible this is not conversational I will be talking at you you’re not allowed talking back to me but Sunday school is really a good opportunity to have that experience where you learn through questions and answers and other people’s perspectives to give that a try next week this morning we’re going to talk. About.
People are just jerks.
And I’m done.
You know you go to a church softball game and you think you can trust a guy and he throws a grapefruit out your.
The world I’ve bought I’m I’m of the opinion that the world would really be a better place if it weren’t for people.
I got out of retail because I liked working in retail but I could not stand the customers and they said you’re probably not a good fit for retail if you don’t get along with the people that pay us to be here.
But there are people that are struggles to deal with do you do you know a jerk I mean just somebody that is selfish and it doesn’t matter what it is they’re going to find a way to make it about them or to ruin it because they didn’t come up with the idea. You know maybe it’s Thanksgiving dinner Chris Christmas time you’ve got that family member that no matter what the plan is they’ve got to ruin it because for some reason it doesn’t work for them specifically Never mind it works for everybody else it doesn’t work for them specifically or somebody it work. Hoo ha you’ve got a project and things are moving along but because it’s your project they’re going to do what they can to pump the brakes on it they’re just going to cause you grief throughout the whole process.
They’re there are jerks there are some people who messed things up but not because they’re bad people just because they weren’t paying attention or the too busy worrying about the little stuff to miss the big picture. I try to come up with some examples and boy is a pair of toddlers It was so hard for me to come up with an example of somebody that is so worried about details they just don’t trust you. It has been two Sundays now I think I’ve I’ve managed to come to church without the question of why are we taking your car and not mom’s car but that’s because my wife and kids are back in Michigan and I’ve been coming to church by myself.
Every Sunday ever taken mom’s car not your car how come we’re taking your car not mom’s car in forty three years on this planet I have earned the right to decide which car I’m going to take the church and I appreciate that you just want to know the decision making process behind it because we just get in the van and go to church.
There are always always questions and it’s not like they’re trying to sabotage the process right they just want to know they want to know why why. Maybe you have somebody who struggles with seeing the forest through the trees gets so caught up in the details that they miss what it is you’re about to take part in. We’re going to look at the sporting how how Jesus dealt with those people and what work. You’re supposed to have a theme in your sermon the title of your sermon and and today it’s going to be how to love the jerks in the doofus is.
Real deep theological stuff that we’re going to cut right into the heart of scripture.
But it’s important because the world is full of people and people make mistakes and some people are jerks and some people you know don’t mean to cause problems but cause problems and Jesus had to deal with that so we’re going to look primarily in Matthew today. Will bounce back and forth to see the nice thing about the gospels is then on some of the stories we get to see the perspective of several different people as they write their books and so were to look primarily at how John looked at it but a little bit how Matthew and even Luke saw what was going on
if you had to pick a a jerk. At the table at the Passover meal.
Who was the jerk who got twelve disciples and Jesus I’ll give you a hint it wasn’t Jesus. Who’s who’s that who’s the jerk it’s Judas right Judas is and there were two Judases the poor poor other Judas. Because in about two weeks after the Passover meal they’re going to say your Judas No no no that was Judas Iscariot I’m other Judas Judas Iscariot but decided he was going to trade Jesus for a bag of money essentially he decides I’m going to turn I’m going to sell out Jesus I get back a bag of money he was selfish he chose himself and his greed and I mean we’re not talking about a lifetime supply of money here this was a bag of money he chose that over Jesus’ life he chose that over the ministry because he’s he knows they’re not taking him away to talk to him and they’re going to let him go.
And I don’t know if you put the thought into it or not but. At that time the disciples didn’t really have their minds wrapped around what was going to happen they thought Jesus was the Messiah is going to set up the Kingdom this is it he sold out potentially the guy that was going to make all of this happen for a bag of money what I find interesting in that if we look at Matthew twenty six
is that Jesus knew this.
Before it happened
Matthew twenty six.
When it was evening he Jesus reclined at the table reclined with the twelve and as they were eating he said Truly I say to you one of you will be train me and they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after the other is it I Lord understandable they want to know will it’s not me is it God.
He answered he was dipped his hand in the dish with me will will be training me the son of man goes as it is written of him but while to the man whom the Son of Man by whom the Son of Man was betrayed it would have been better for that man if he had not been born Judas who would be train him answered is that Iraq by and he said to him You have said so
we’re looking a little bit before this happened Jesus was washed all of the disciples feet Jesus knows what’s going to happen he’s not surprised by anything that is going to happen in these last days of his life God told them this is what to expect and so he knows Judas is a jerk right nothing nothing surprised him.
We have those people in our lives where we know we come into a situation with them they’re going to give me grief right this is this is an uphill battle this is a coworker that if I weren’t paid to be here I wouldn’t I wouldn’t be around them this is a family member that just every time there’s always conflict we have those people that we know before we come into a circumstance.
They’re just going to they’re going to treat me like a jerk.
Now Simon Peter is another example the Jews had to deal with again inside of his circle of twelve his his inner core Simon Peter we’re not going to put him in The Jerk category and we said that the title of the sermon is to love the jerks in the doofus is an I sure don’t want to be calling any of the disciples a doofus but he acted like one he took what was this big huge monumental event and stripped it down of so many tiny details he missed what was going on. He doesn’t trust God let’s look at John thirteen.
thirteen and verse six.
So Jesus does this thing where he’s going to wash the disciples feet you have dirt roads everywhere and you have sandals so you walk into dinner where you’re going to lay down and recline while you eat and what you do is you wash your feet because otherwise you’re tracking all of that in and so you wash your feet and usually there’s a servant that brings out a bowl and washes everybody’s feet and Jesus decides he’s going to turn this around and he’s going to wash the disciples feet not common not expected confusing to the disciples and so in verse six.
Simon Peter is about to have his feet washed and Jesus came to Simon Peter who said to him. Lord do you wash my feet again he’s not understanding what’s going on and Jesus answered him what I am doing you do not understand now but afterward you will understand the essential he saying look I get that this doesn’t make sense Trust me this doesn’t make sense now it will in a little bit
Peter said to him You shall never wash my feet.
I don’t think you get to see that the Jesus I took I think Jesus is one of those guys where if he wants to do something that doesn’t make sense you go along with it because it’s not like Simon Peter is new to Jesus they’ve been they’ve been together nonstop for the last two three years of this ministry he’s seen Jesus do things that don’t make sense so when Jesus says I’m going to do this thing that you don’t understand now you say OK Simon Peter says you shall never wash my seat in our house you’re not allowed to say never or always because like every five year old or three year old you never let me like oh OK but if that’s true that means in the future it’s never going to happen in the past never happened you don’t you don’t tell Jesus you shall never wash my C. I control you Jesus I am not going to let you ever wash my feet but Jesus answered him If I do not wash you you have no share with me so Simon Peter said to him Lord not my feet but also my hands and my head and Jesus said to him the one who is bathed does not need to wash except for his feet but is completely clean and you are clean but not every one of you for he knew who was to be tray him and that was why he said not all of you are clean.
Simon Peter won’t just trust which Jesus has to say from Jesus’s perspective he’s at a point in his ministry honestly he’s at a point in mankind that is transitional No no event has been bigger since then and no event will be bigger until he comes back again and so this is the culmination of three years of his ministry of him coming down as a man and in a couple of hours a couple of days it all changes and he goes from being the center of this he goes from being the draw that brings all of the people to now these disciples have to take over because he’s not going to be there anymore and it’s crunch time he’s got to get these guys to understand this is what you need to do this is the ministry this is the message the Gospel that you’ve got to take out all of these people
some of it’s not going to make sense some of what I’m about to tell you is going to happen the next couple of days doesn’t make sense go with it understand what I’m trying to teach you right now Simon Peter says but wait no why how come I don’t like that he says he does it again. John thirteen verse thirty three.
Little children this is Jesus talking yet a little while I am with you you will seek me and just as I said to the Jews so now I say to you where I am going you cannot come
it’s a little bit cryptic so Simon Peter in verse thirty six says to him Lord where are you going Jesus answered him where I am going you cannot follow me now but you will follow afterwards Peter said to him Lord why can I not follow you now I will lay down my life for you and Jesus answered Will you lay down your life for me truly truly I say to you the rooster will not crow to you have denied me three times why how come why.
Look just understand what’s going on Jesus is understand where we are see the forest Don’t worry about the trees see the forest understand what’s going on but Simon Peter is he’s so caught up in wanting to know why and understanding everything he just can’t trust Jesus.
what was going to happen right he tells us here he knows Simon Peter is going to die him three times he knew they wouldn’t understand he told them you don’t understand this trust me this is what’s going to happen. He wasn’t surprised by Simon Peter.
Do you know.
Anybody like this that again has to know the details in order to go along with something there are some people who say tell me when to be there what what time I’ll be there tell me what to bring Don’t worry about it some people want to know what’s the best way to get there. What time are we leaving what time do we need to be there where should Where’s the best place to get gas What’s the cheapest price. To pay and I’m not saying that’s bad there’s times for that but at this point when you’ve got this thing is about to happen it’s about the big picture it’s not about the details it’s about the big picture.
And if it wasn’t bad enough that Simon Peter was given him grief he also starts to get grief from the other disciples John fourteen five and these are the twelve that he’s asking to take over the ministry when he goes home to be with the Lord.
Thomas said to him chapter fourteen verse five Lord we do not where you know where you are going again we’ve just had this conversation with Simon Peter now it’s Thomas’ turn Lord we don’t know where you’re going how can we know the way Jesus said to him I am the way and the truth and the Life no one comes to the Father except through me if you had known Me you would have known My Father also FROM NOW ON YOU DO KNOW HIM AND HAVE SEEN HIM SO WE JUST HAD TO conversation with Simon Peter now we’re at Thomas OK Finally new verse eight Philip said to him Lord show us the Father and it is anough for us. I’m sorry what.
Jesus said to him Have I been with you so long you still don’t know me Philip Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father how can you say Show us the Father do you not believe that I am the father and the father is in me the words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority but the Father who dwells in Me does his works Believe me that I am in the Father and the father is in me or else believe on account of the works themselves.
Jesus saint look kies wire this is this is pretty foundational stuff we’re at a point where I’m going to ask you to take over this ministry why are we going back to this where you’re going can you just give us one more sign.
If what I’ve told you doesn’t carry weight and look at all of the miracles look at everything that’s been done
pay attention to what is about to happen I’m trying to prepare you for what is about to happen.
So there’s that there’s three of them that are are just not getting it they’re not they’re not in the moment they’re paying attention to abstract details or they’re not in the moment. But that’s not the worst of it because let’s look at Luke twenty two.
And this is the same timeframe this is Luke’s perspective on everything that happened. Up
Luke twenty two.
Let’s start in verse twenty three.
at the at the table of the Passover meal.
Twenty two twenty two will start there for the Son of Man goes as it has been determined but wall to the man by whom he is betrayed so this is Luke telling the same story of Jesus saying one of you is going to be train me and they began to question one another which of them it was going to be the could do this thing.
That’s verse twenty three first thing they do is say which one of is it you is it me is it you is it me the very next verse a dispute also a rose among them as to which of them was to be guarded as the regarded as the greatest.
So you just not get the picture guys this is not about which one of you is the greatest This is not about which one of you is going to be train me this is about what’s about to happen salvation is about to take place on the cross to the death burial and resurrection of Jesus.
But we’re worried about which one of us is the greatest we’re worried about where are you going how do we get there what do you can you give us one more sign.
So these guys are not intentionally trying to derail Jesus and what he’s about to do but they’re just so lost in the details they can’t see the big picture.
So how did Jesus handle people that were going to be train him that were to be jerks to him people who were just slowing down what he had planned by asking all these details.
Probably one of the most important things.
And what I appreciate about God sending his son to be a man.
Is he felt he had emotions about it John thirteen twenty one.
So Jesus would just explain to them why he is washing their feet about being servants and serving others.
And he says after saying After saying these things Jesus was troubled in his spirit and testified Truly truly I say to you one of you will be train me.
It’s OK to be bothered when someone is a jerk to you no one is going to sit up here and say love everyone it’s all easy and when somebody just turn the other cheek and go on like nothing ever happened that’s not it we were human and we have emotions but God has emotions.
It’s OK to be bothered by those things so that when somebody causes you that grief it’s OK to be troubled because Jesus was troubled it’s OK that those things bother you what it is not OK to do is to allow the actions of others to dictate my behaviors it’s not OK to say well this person was a jerk to me and so I’m going to do this because that’s not what Jesus did what Jesus did was wash their feet. He did this backwards thing where instead of having somebody wash his feet he gets down and he washes their feet he knows.
One of these guys is going to sell him out for a bag of money. It doesn’t tell us in all of all of the accounts of this event that he excluded out Judas going to wash the level of pairs of feet Judas you’re over there and I’ll tell you why in a little bit it doesn’t say that he washed all of their feet nobody asks a question how come his feet are being washed we can assume he washes all their feet.
He washes we know he washes Simon Peter’s feet because Simon Peter asked the question right before feeder to be washed.
Why does he do that because their actions didn’t change his ministry their actions didn’t change his purpose his purpose was to get this gospel out to as many people as possible and to get these disciples ready to take the helm and take that ministry out to to the people when he returns to heaven it wasn’t about.
What Judas was about to do it almost wasn’t about Simon Peter questions or what he was going to do to him in denying him those things are going to happen that doesn’t change what Jesus is Ministry is. He love them.
John thirteen thirty four John is all about love that this is one of those where there are so many passages in here I could put in but you’ve got to just pick some.
John thirteen thirty four A new commandment I give to you that you love one another just as I have loved you you are also to love one another by this all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another just as I’ve loved you I’ve loved you when things were great of loved you when things were bad I’ve loved you when one of you was about to sell me out for a bag of money of love you and one of you just nagged me to death with questions about details that don’t matter I loved you and so what I want you to do is I want you to love each other so that all those people out there can see that and want to be a part of it.
That’s that’s my command he says it again for emphasis in fifteen twelve
this is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you
that’s it not here’s what I want you to do here’s how you’re going to take care of Judas when this is all said and done.
Not. Stop guys listen this is what I want you just love one another if we got stripped down to basics this is how you’re going to get the gospel out of quick as possibly do it as I love you. He prayed in John seventeen verse twenty.
The ghost of the Lord in prayer he goes to his father in prayer.
And asks. Through prayer for help. I do not ask for these only the disciples but also for those who will believe in Me through their word that they may all be one just as you Father are in me and I in you that you may also be an OS so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
So glory that you have given me I have given to them that they may be one even as we are one I in them and you in me that they may become perfectly one so the world may know that you have sent me and love them even as you love to me Father I desire that they also whom you have given me may be with me where I am to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world and so in this moment where he’s dealing with all of these things I mean he is still facing horrible physical pain. He’s facing the end of this earthly ministry all of these responsibilities that he has with what’s about to come but he also has to get these disciples ready. And he prays the Lord Lord help me with my purpose Help me with my mission.
He could have said Lord help me figure out what I need to do with Simon Peter how do I get him to listen.
And that wouldn’t of been wrong but at this point there is one big thing between he him and heaven and that is the death on the cross and he wants to set this up so he asks the Lord to help him with his purpose with his mission he also trusted God He knew your going to do you’re going to be train me you’re going to turn your back and and disavow any knowledge of me this is all going to happen at the point where we should be focused on just being together and me teaching you guys as much as possible before this happens. He knew all that was going to happen but he trusted God he said God’s got a plan this is this is what’s going to happen.
I wish Judas wasn’t going to treat me like this but it’s in God’s plan I’m going to let it happen.
So what do we do with the jerks in the doofus is.
The first thing is it’s all OK for them to trouble us it’s OK that that kind of stuff bothers us.
We can say turn the other cheek but that doesn’t mean. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t kind of stick in your head and bother you but it comes down to what do you do about that do you lose focus on what your purpose is. And let that pull you off to the side or do you say that’s your action.
It bothers me but I’m here for a purpose and I’m not going to let that distract me from my purpose.
We love them back that’s hard I mean that’s that’s not easy when somebody especially when to the jerk you know the doofus is you love them.
But the jerks that’s tough because you know what’s going to happen the next time I mean you’re setting yourself up to be jerked the next time and the next time and the next time but so many times God says or Jesus says.
Love them as I’ve loved you because that’s how the world out there is going to know God’s love is how we show it to each other and so if you show it to a jerk and somebody out there says well you were really nice that guy that just kicked you while you were down why that stands out what they see is bickering with each other on Facebook who wants to be a part of that club but it doesn’t make any sense no one is going to join that teen going to join the team of somebody who says. You guys don’t get along but when he needed you when she needed you you were there because you love each other like family and you’re there.
We pray because they’re sometimes all whether it’s our children or it’s other jerks we live for I’m kidding I’m kidding.
They’re not jerks they’re children.
We pray because they’re sometimes it just doesn’t make sense and we say God I know what’s in your plan and it doesn’t make sense to me and I would like to ask a lot of whys right now but I’m not going to I’m just going to trust that there’s one other side of it though it’s right we started off the Bible says the world would be better if there weren’t people in it it may not say that but it should.
Work people and we’re in the world right. Sometimes we’re jerks and we’re doofus is. We talked about how do we handle the church and the doofus is but sometimes we’re the jerk and sometimes we’re the doofus sometimes we’re the person that got petty and went after somebody else or derailed what they were working on what they were doing.
Because we still battle with sin.
Sometimes God says this is what’s going to happen and we say but why what could you just tell me some more about or one sign can you give to science.
And we do those things those things and and so I think we need to be self-aware enough to say there are times where I am the jerk or I am the doofus and I am. Distracting somebody else it all comes down to.
Love one another and. Again we could we could John first John second John we could find other passages where John comes back to that commandment Love one another because if we can’t love each other inside of the Body of Christ we all share the same gift of salvation where we’ve all been given that ultimate gift of love if we can’t show that love to each other especially in the hard times. Why would the world want to be any part of this. And so I challenge you this week.
I don’t know if I’m supposed to say this but he just one asked me to preach again if I’m not.
It doesn’t matter. Who started the policy it doesn’t matter who is in forcing the policy if there are children in pens it matters there are children in pens it doesn’t matter politics it doesn’t matter any of those things Jesus Christ loved the children we love the children we don’t let politics we don’t let any of that take us off of our mission of showing the world God’s love we show the world God’s Love We don’t say but you did this so I’m going to respond to you with this and I’m going to I’m going to go to this website and I’m going to Snopes you to death we don’t come over here and we don’t say.
He’s a horrible president now we’re four years ago and this and this and this Meanwhile there are people suffering because we’re so busy arguing about immigration.
Whatever the topic is we’d like to talk about it the Bible says show God’s love doesn’t say pick a side it doesn’t say it says show God’s love and so I think we’ve got to open our eyes and say Am I being a jerk or a doofus. And if I am GOD I’M SORRY get me refocused so I’m going to pray and get out of here.
Heavenly father we love you.
These moments in the Bible where we see. Jesus in his last days are powerful that he was a man in flesh bearing these responsibilities and we know that if he says in these last days the greatest commandment of these this is the commandment I leave you is to love one another that we’re going to respect that Lord and we ask for help when it gets tossed when we have moments of weakness we ask that you would help us with that because we want to show the love you’ve shown us to those around us in your name Amen.