6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermons

Summary: Have you ever made a mistake? You may be thinking, 'is this a trick question'. Knowing the answer is a resounding, 'yes', why is it so hard to admit that we make them? Everyone makes mistakes, even those in the bible. They were just like us.

JUST LIKE US (part one)

Have you ever made a mistake? You may be thinking, 'is this a trick question'. Knowing the answer is a resounding, 'yes', often times it's hard to admit when we've made a mistake. Remember the show, 'Happy Days'? There was an episode where Fonzie was wrong and he was trying to say it but he couldn't quite get it out [play clip].

We can be like Fonzie. We all make mistakes but we don't like admitting when we do because we get embarrassed and we think those who saw or know about our mistakes will look down at us. Beth would say I don't like to admit when I'm wrong. I think she's wrong. Some say the three hardest words for a man to say are, "I love you". It's probably more true that the three hardest words for us to say are, "I was wrrrng" [fonzie style].

When Beth and I dated as teenagers I was a little egotistical. I used to tell her I only made one mistake per day. I can't remember what excuse I came up with on the days I committed two or more (probably because that never happened). Enough about me, in 1980 there was a book titled, The Book of Blunders. Here are a few examples.

When a drum major tossed his baton in Ventura, California, it hit two 4000-volt power lines, melting the baton as well as blacking out a ten-block area and putting a radio station off the air. A bank robber in L. A. told the clerk to not give him the cash but to deposit the money into his checking account. Thank God for dumb criminals.

On his first assignment for a Chicago newspaper, a rookie reporter drove a company car to a car-crushing plant, parked in the wrong spot, and returned from interviewing the manager just in time to see the vehicle being compacted into scrap metal.

Everyone makes mistakes, even those in the bible. The heroes of the faith were not perfect; they had their share of blunders. In the next few weeks we'll be taking a look at some people in the bible who had great displays of faith but also had some moments that were not so great. We'll see that they were just like us.

1) We're all human.

Think about how we view celebrities sometimes. People can have the tendency to put them on a pedestal and practically worship them. And if they ever get a chance to meet one of them they go crazy. It's like we look at them as if they are more than human; like they are at some upper level or even a godlike status.

In fact, because the tendency to do this is so common there are sections of publications devoted to showing how the stars are "just like us". They show celebrities doing everyday things. And in some way we think it's actually a little weird; like it doesn't look right to see these larger-than-life people looking regular or doing regular things or going to regular places.

Well, it's not just the music or movie or sports stars we do this with. We can actually behave this way when we look at biblical 'stars'. Have you ever thought of people like Moses or David or Paul in this way? We think these 'stars' of the bible are nothing like us? Based on some of the things we read about them doing it's somewhat understandable that we would see them as larger than life people. We have a biblical account in Acts where this happened to Paul and Barnabas.

Acts 14:8-15, "In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.

When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.

But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: “Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them."

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