Summary: Apostles, Pt. 11
MAKING A MOLEHILL OUT OF A MOUNTAIN (LUKE 9:51-56)
The widely respected Indianapolis Colts coach and Superbowl winner Tony Dungy is the epitome of cool, calm and composure. Peyton Manning credited Dungy’s calm demeanor as critical to the team’s rally from an 18-point deficit against the New England Patriots to win the AFC Championship Game. Unknown to most people, the coach was once a hothead out of control. He was even ejected for fighting in a basketball game in the ninth grade. Dungy was incensed that he was hacked repeatedly, but no fouls were called. His best friend recalled: “Tony kept telling the referee, ’Look, you need to call something here.’ So the next timeout, we were in the huddle and the coach wasn’t there and Tony said, ’If he hits me again, I’m going to knock him to half-court. (After another non-call,) Tony laid one on him. It looked like a cartoon. The kid hit the floor and started sliding back. It was one of those youthful things. That was the one and only time. Tony was normally the person we looked up to.”
Dungy confessed, “I was the technical foul champion…arguing with officials … I was also a quarterback who yelled at my teammates a lot.” Dungy was an all-state quarterback who also starred in basketball, baseball and track before enrolling at the University of Minnesota in 1973 on a football scholarship and his intensity was evident in sports.
Dungy recalled and responded, “I appreciate that people think of me that way, but I know it’s been a long process, a learned process. And it’s not natural. I thank God for it.” He remembers the teaching moment from his father after that “fight” in ninth-grade basketball that transformed him: “What did you accomplish? Do you think you helped your team in the locker room?’ (“Dungy’s upbringing was super solid,” USA TODAY 1/30/07)
The apostle John is an enigmatic character in the New Testament. He is one of the most loving, if not the most loving, apostle in the Bible, and one of Jesus’ three most trusted disciples. The most affectionate of the bunch and the most articulate apostle on love, he is often referred to as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23, 20:2), who is not timid or shy to recline next to Jesus or show affection for Him (John 13:23). However, John had a temperamental, impulsive and volatile side that was his Achilles heel. His love was evident to be very conditional and he had to learn love the hard way. He had to show love and compassion on those not worth loving or caring before Jesus could effectively use him.
How should a believer respond to hardened unbelievers? Why is anger a hindrance to God’s work? Does a believer’s testimony matter to his witness the gospel?
Anger Unleashed is a Situation Worsened
51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. (Luke 9:51-53)