Steven Furtick - Why You Stopped Trusting People?
This is an excerpt from: Deeper Than You Think
Is Jesus thinking a little bit more deeply about your situation than you are thinking about your situation in this moment, and does he see it like you see it? With my kids, I have to be okay with the fact that my disciples, Abbey, Graham, and Elijah… I don't have 12. Three is enough for me. I don't know how he put up with 12. He had 12 of these little children running around. "I'll sit on the right hand". "You didn't bring the bread". What would you do if you had 12 of those? I have three, and I love them deeply, but they frustrate me greatly. One thing I learned… Any of y'all have little kids? When they get a little older, they will pick on you. They'll start making fun of you. It is completely normal to the developmental task of the child to start making fun of Dad, because that's how the child differentiates and individuates. (I don't know if that's a word or not; I just went with it. It made me sound deep: individuate. You've got to individuate so you can matriculate, pontificate.)
What was I saying? Oh, how my kids… They love me. Listen. We have a home of respect. Sometimes in trying to do humor… I don't want to give you the wrong example. Our home is very respectful, very loving, very warm, and they love me. I think they look up to me. I think they think I'm the best dad they could ever have. They say that on Father's Day. But on many occasions, the only time they get along is when they band together to beat up on me. I'm cool with that, because I'm Christlike. If I have to hang here on this cross to unify these three kids who are fighting all the time so y'all can make fun of how old I am… I'm not ashamed of age, by the way. "Oh, you're getting old". Old is the goal. I didn't die. What did you do? Old is the goal. Let's make a tee shirt or a fanny pack or something that says, "Old is the goal". Wear it with pride. But they make fun of me. "Classic Dad," they say. "Classic Dad. Just like Dad to say that. Did you hear Dad saying that"? They made fun of me this summer on vacation. There are so many wonderful memories I could tell you about, but let me tell you about this one.
Every time they wanted to go swimming in the ocean, I went. Holly didn't go. I went. I'm just pointing out she is not always the more perfect parent. But guess what. Because I went in the ocean, I was subject to their mockery. Here's what kept happening every time we'd go out. Every time we'd go out to the ocean, within 10 minutes I'd be saying, "Come back in! You're too far out! You're too far out! Come back in"! "Classic Dad". They're rolling their eyes. "Dad, come on. Calm down". Abbey is hanging on my back, and I'm telling Elijah and Graham, "Come back in! You're too far out! There's an undercurrent. There's nobody else out here but us. That means we're not very smart. This is not a good time to swim in the ocean. Come back in! I can't see you out there. I know you can swim. I know you're taller than me, but I'm your dad. Come back in! That's too far out! Come back in"! Abbey is hanging on my back, and she says, "Dad, calm down. It's not that deep".
So I put her down. After she thrashed around for a minute, because she was not on my back anymore, standing on the solid rock… You know how we get arrogant. We think we're so great and so good and we can do it, but really, it's what we're standing on. When I put her down, she thrashed around a little bit, and I said, "It's deeper than you think". The disciples found out how deep it was when Jesus left to be in heaven, and they had to do the things they had seen him do without him there to correct them when they messed it up. Now, Peter, if you cut off an ear, it stays off. Jesus isn't around to put it back on. One time they went to go cast out demons. They'd seen Jesus cast out demons, so they went to cast out demons, and they couldn't do it. They came back and said, "Why can't we do it? We saw you do it". He said, "This kind comes out only by prayer and fasting. You thought it was the motions. You watched how I put my hand or you listened to what I said or maybe you copied my voice inflection. It's not at that level. It's deeper than you think".
We just read a text that seems to be about 40 verses on something as simple as a beverage service, 40 verses on something that happens every day when you go to a restaurant or right when you go to your fridge. Forty verses. Why I love to revisit old Scriptures isn't because I want a week off from studying. It's because the same thing we do in our lives we often do with the Word of God. We skim. We scroll. We skim and we scroll. We don't really know anybody. We just skim and scroll. We don't really read any news stories. We skim the headlines and scroll to the next one. So, we develop entire ideologies and belief systems on what happened and judgments on people because we skim and scroll. Like the Pharisees, by the way, in the first few verses I read.
They heard Jesus was baptizing more people than John the Baptist, and Jesus wasn't even the one personally doing the baptism. But since when the did the truth get in the way of a fun rumor? They start talking. They start moving, and Jesus goes to Samaria. Now, this passage, on one hand, is a geographical description of how Jesus traveled to Galilee where he based his ministry, but it's deeper than you think. For instance, did you know most Jews, instead of going straight through Samaria, if they were going to Galilee, would go around Samaria, and it took twice as long? They didn't go through Samaria because they (the Bible even said it) did not like or associate with the Samaritans.
You read that and think, "Well, that's wrong. That sounds like they're bigots. That sounds like they're racist. That sounds like they're religious classists. That sounds like they have an issue". And they do, but to really understand even the depth of why they walked around Samaria instead of going through it, you'd have to break it down and go all the way back to 700 BC (so, this is seven centuries before Jesus showed up to talk to this woman) and understand how the religious environment of Samaria had been populated with those who did not worship the true God. So, when they were taken out of Samaria, which was the northern kingdom… Israel was a divided kingdom, and the division ran deep, because the moment they were taken out of their homeland, some other people were brought in, and when they came back, they started marrying and mixing, so many of the people who were in Samaria worshiped other gods.
So, when the Jews didn't want to associate with the Samaritans, it was because they didn't want to get dragged down by the customs of the Samaritans, not because they were so dysfunctional in their hearts that they didn't like them. Now you begin to see through the eyes of the Jewish people why they avoided that certain place called Samaria, and you begin to understand why in your life you avoid certain things as well. Why don't you finish things? Why don't you start new things? Why won't you love again? Why won't you trust again? Why can't you express yourself? Why don't you come to church? It's deeper than it seems, and it's deeper than you even think. Be very careful about your rush to judgment concerning someone whose journey you have not shared. Be very careful. "God hates divorce". Be very careful hiding something that resembles more the kind of bigotry the Pharisees were known for underneath what sounds spiritual from a situation that has already broken the heart of the person whose wounds you are pouring salt into.
I think I lost 87 percent of the church. Next week will be a good week to come. There will be plenty of seats. This preaching is not a crowd-building preaching. "Just stay abstract up here, Pastor, talking to us about heaven when we die and streets of gold and mansions of glory. Don't talk to me about my attitude. I don't want to talk about my attitude. I know I have a bad attitude, but I love the Lord. I'm not happy, but I've got joy". I said that last week. That's a Christian saying. "We're not happy, but we've got joy, praise God". Said with the meanest, ugliest look on your face you ever saw in your life. That's the Christian equivalent of, "I don't like you, but I love you". That's the Christian equivalent of that.
You know, "I don't like you, but I love you with the love of the Lord. I'm not happy. I'm miserable. I'm terrible to be around, but I'm going to heaven when I die". I hope not, because I was going to go too, and I don't really want to be around you there too for all of eternity, for 10,000 years, bright shining as the sun. So, in this passage, one of the things I want you to see is not only the fact that Jesus went through Samaria when he didn't have to and most people didn't but that he did not explain to his disciples his reason for doing so. He let them go get lunch and explained it later. This is one of my definitions of peace: letting God explain it later.
As I'm going through an experience in life, trusting God enough to let him explain later. It takes no faith to move on an explanation. It takes all the faith in the world to do what the disciples did and go get lunch while Jesus talks to a lady he has no business talking to in at least three categories. I will list them for you. She is a she. He is a he. This he is a rabbi, and rabbis are not permitted to talk to women in public. Strike one, Jesus. She is a Samaritan. He is a Jew. I already told you right there in plain sight in the text that Jews and Samaritans have no dealing. That's second. Third, as we found out in the text, she has a questionable, at best, reputation. He is the holy, spotless Lamb of God, and he's not even married. Jesus didn't have kids. How could he have kids when he had to put up with Peter? He had no more room for anybody to look after and straighten up after. Jesus is talking to someone he has no business talking to in a place that is a place he has no business going, and it's deeper than you think.
So, Jesus is sitting by a well, talking to a woman, and the disciples don't know why. He's sitting by a well talking to a woman. The disciples don't know why. Got it? Everything in the text is something you can see. You can see the woman. You can see the well. You can see the woman's jar she's going to get the water from. You can't see Jesus' jar, because he doesn't have one, because she is one, but she doesn't know that yet. The Bible is deeper than you think. You know how it said it happened at noon? Did you see that? You probably didn't pay attention to that. It said it's noon. It's the sixth hour, and she's coming out there at noon. Why at noon? That's the hottest time you could… If you have to work hard to get this water and carry it, the worst time you can do it is in the heat of the day.
This is not exactly a friendly climate. Where the Bible happened, it gets some pretty hot conditions. Something in her life, which we find out is that she has been from man to man to man to man to man, either passed around like an object or because of some choice of her own… We don't know, but she's there in the heat of the day to avoid the melting, penetrating gaze of others who would speak of her as she did it. It's deeper than you think…when you do things, why you do things. It's deeper than you think. There's a reason she's there at noon. There's a reason you do it at noon. It's deeper than you think. What time did Jesus die on the cross? Go study your Scripture. You'll find out he died about the sixth hour, which is at noon. Is it a coincidence that she came to get her water out of her shame at the same time that he would later die for her shame to take it away or is John pointing to something?
John's gospel is amazing, because he has these signs. He gives these signs to prove that Jesus is who he says he is. All of the signs in John's gospel are pointing not to the miracles themselves but to the one, the man, the God, the Spirit who created all things that are seen. Oh, I love it. It's deeper than you think. Slow down. Stop reading your Bible so fast, and stop skimming it. Every once in a while, just sit, like Jesus did at the well. Just sit. Wonder why at noon. "I wonder why it happened at noon. I wonder why John took the time to stop by and say, 'It happened at noon.' We don't really need a chronological journal of everything that happened on the journey. Just get to the point". No, you need to know it's at noon, because you need to know this woman was ashamed, because you might feel ashamed of some things that happened in your life, either things you did or things others did.
You need to know that at noon one Friday, there was a man who hung on a cross. They stretched him wide and hung him high, but he didn't stay where they put him, and you're not staying where they put you! You will not die in this situation. "Because he lives, I can face tomorrow". Stuff like that you need to know. It's deeper than you think. So, try this out next time you're judging somebody. Just say, "It's deeper than I think". Or else you'll get into this thing of behavior modification. Why didn't Jesus tell this woman to stop having so many different men before he told her he would give her living water? Why didn't he say, "Go fix these issues, and I'll give you this resource"? Why didn't Jesus give this woman a list of things she could do so she wouldn't have to keep going to these bad relationships over and over?
At the very least, she doesn't know how to select the right man. At the very least. Why didn't he fix that? That's exactly how we think. Right? Okay. This is my sermon. If you like the sermon in a sentence, this is it right here: we solve it on the level we see it. That's why I wanted to talk to you about happiness. You can see the well. You can see the woman, but what you can't see is what is happening within that Jesus points to and says, "I want to fix that. I want to work on that". Until you understand this principle in Scripture, you will slap a religious label on behavior modification methods that will keep you coming back to the wrong well to be happy.