Steven Furtick - Why Am I So Tired?
I'm tired of talking to myself. I'm tired of being alone. I'm tired. I'm tired, but it's not like bags under my eyes. It's not about gas in my car. I heard a lot of the people I shepherd saying, "I'm tired inside". Maybe that's a better title. Officially, we'll call it I’m Tired Inside. Go with me to John, chapter 4, all you who are weak and heavy laden. Come with me to John, chapter 4, and let's listen on a conversation. I've been talking with this text this week. What the Lord showed me was something… I thought I had mastery of this text.
I've heard so many sermons on John 4. Some of you who grew up going to Wednesday night Bible study will probably click over to some other preacher now, because you're like, "Well, what can possibly be in John 4"? I promise you, this that God showed me from John, chapter 4… Again, I thought, "I know this text. It's about the Samaritan woman". The woman at the well we call her. It alliterates nicely. The woman at the well. The woman who had had five husbands and number six wasn't her husband either. I called her one time the thirsty woman. It's different meanings depending on how you culturally interpret that.
I've talked about this woman on Easter. I've talked about this woman on New Year's. New Year's resolution. But I saw this as I was thinking about "How are you really inside"? How are you? How's your insides? I went to this text, and I stayed with it, and I saw something I had never seen before. I'll read you just enough of it to give context, and then I will give further context, and then I will give a little more context, and then you can eat a sandwich. "I'm tired". Even looking out across this room, I can see it. Y'all are trying so hard to pay attention, but honestly, it's like, "It's a lot right now".
I want to show you something that spoke to my soul. I pray that God will energize your spirit with this word. "Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John—although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee". I always skipped that little introduction because I wanted to start the text here in verse 4 where Jesus went through Samaria, but backing up to see verses 1-3 was interesting for me, because I noticed that Jesus refused to be controlled by the agendas of others.
That thing really started preaching to me. In Jesus' day, sometimes they had these different controversies and they had politics. It was much different in Bible times than it is today. They had some people who supported this leader and some people who supported that leader, and then you had the Pharisees who were trying to keep their power, and in order to keep their power, they didn't care what they had to say, they didn't care who they had to trample on, they didn't care who they had to hurt, they didn't care what misinformation they had to spread.
So when the prophet from Galilee started performing miracles… He was born in Bethlehem. He grew up in Nazareth. He did his miracles in Galilee. When he started baptizing people and he started gaining popularity, he represented a threat to the religious establishment, which had become so political they had lost the heart of the Father in pursuit of building the kingdom of their own ideologies. I just wonder, is the Bible still relevant? Is the Bible still eternal? Is it still the Word of God? We find ourselves in a time where we could use a whole lot more Jesus. Can I preach about Jesus for 30 minutes today? Not the Jesus we thought we knew from three little quotes that we carefully selected but the Jesus who refused to be contained or confined to any ideology or to any party.
Can I preach about Jesus? The more they tried to create this pressure for him to fit within their system, he was like, "I'm out of here. That's not what I'm about. I'm about my Father's business". In Jesus' day, they didn't always report the facts on the news. In Jesus' day. I'm not talking about today. I'm saying in Jesus' day, they got it wrong sometimes. In Jesus' day. They said, "He's baptizing more than John. This guy is getting powerful. We've got to stop him". They actually got it wrong. He wasn't even the one doing the baptizing. A lot of the things we say God does he's not actually doing. Anyway, that's not the message. The message is called Tired on the Inside.
Do you know what I'm tired of? I'm tired of not being able to trust any information from anywhere. I don't know what to read anymore. I don't know who to follow anymore. I don't know what to listen to anymore. It's like everybody has an angle. Everybody has an agenda. They said, "He's baptizing more than John. You'd better do something". But he wasn't even the one baptizing. The Bible says, "When Jesus learned this…" Which in and of itself is shocking. Jesus learned. How does Jesus learn? How does the one who is wisdom learn anything? Well, they bring him the report. They tell him the Pharisees are starting to become very, very nervous about what he represents. So he's like, "Let's go". Verse 4 says something else that's really shocking. Remember, this is not the Jesus you pull out and cuddle with. This is not cuddly Christ.
I preached a sermon one time called Savage Jesus. This is the Jesus who doesn't take shortcuts and doesn't deal with the surface issues. This is not the Jesus who comes to give you gummy bears. I don't care what they're laced with or how legal it is. This is not that gummy bear Jesus. Look at verse 4. It says, "Now he had to go through Samaria". He had to go through Samaria. It's interesting, and it's kind of surprising, and it catches you off guard. He didn't have to do anything. He was not controlled by anyone. In fact, the only agenda he was fully committed to was the agenda of his Father in heaven. I have sensed the Lord asking me over these last several months, "Whose agenda are you committed to"? Is it the agenda of Jesus?
Now Jesus' agenda was not an agenda that was imposed by external forces. Jesus had to go through Samaria, not because Peter told him to, not because he took a vote and it was the popular thing to do, not because his base liked it. In fact, his base hated it. Samaria. How many sermons have you heard about Jesus going through Samaria? And the Jews hated to go through Samaria, because even though there was not a national distinction, there was an internal distinction. I mean, how many sermons have we heard about how the Jews would walk twice as long to go around Samaria?
One time I was preaching about it, and I saw it in a funny way. I was mid-stream, mid-thought, mid-sentence, and the Lord said, "Some area". We all have some area. That's a whole message right there too, isn't it? We all have some area we try to avoid. In fact, sometimes the reason we're tired is because we're working around everything God wants to bring us through. We have a workaround for our pain, but the form of the workaround for our pain creates a greater dependency that wears us out in the end. The beautiful thing about the text is you don't even have to understand this geographically.
You're experiencing it spiritually. We all must go through some area. For Jesus, it was that northern part of the kingdom. It was that place that most people would double back. Got to go across the Transjordan. Got to cross near Jericho. They would turn a three-day journey into a six-day journey just to avoid going through what Jesus went straight into. Do you know what the Lord said to tell you? He's confrontational. He is not passive; he is confrontational. I know. We have sweet Jesus. Ricky Bobby Jesus. Eight-pound baby Jesus.
I like him better that way. I can hold him. Speaking of tired, my brother had a baby this week. His wife had a baby. He took some credit. He's so excited. When I first talked to him, I said, "How are you doing"? Do you know what he said? Confirmation on my sermon. He said, "I'm tired". I said, "So is everybody else. But you do not know tired yet". Amen, Preacher Steve. "You don't know tired. You are going to be begging for pre-baby tired. You have not welcomed only a child into the world; you have welcomed a dictator into the world of your home. Now there will no longer be an agenda between you and your wife about mealtimes or schedules or bedtimes. You don't know tired yet".
He had to go through Samaria, some area. An area other people avoided God went straight into. Even though it was the more direct route, it was the path less taken. Let me stop for a minute, because I don't want to get so caught up in my construct that I fail to ask you this question. What are you working around in your life that God wants you to walk through, and how much longer will you do it that way? Everything in the text is inward. From the outside, Jesus has pressure from the Pharisees, but he's not controlled by that. He's guided from the inside.
That's a really awesome thing about instability in the world. It helps us get our center of gravity from God who is on the inside. He had to go through Samaria, not because it was the predictable path and certainly not because it was the popular path but because it was the path of his purpose. Wow. I love the Word of God. I heard about it so many times. You know, he had to go through Samaria. That's where he went. I heard there was a woman there, a woman who had had a pretty questionable character, and that he wanted to meet with her and that's who he went for. I even heard how he went, that he went straight through instead of going on the path most people were familiar with. But do you know what I saw this week?
I saw something. Read this with me in verse 5. "So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman…" That's who. Sychar…that's where. "…came to draw water…" That's what. "…Jesus said to her, 'Will you give me a drink?'" I love verse 8 in parentheses. This struck me as funny when I read it. "(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)"
Why is that funny? I think he was tired of them. I really do. I don't think he was so worried that they were hungry. I think he was like, "You know what would be great? If y'all just want to run an errand, I've got something I've got to do". Sometimes you have to send people away. Sometimes you have to say, "Hey, I'm working on this right now. I appreciate you so much, and I love you, and I'll see you when you get back with those grilled chicken nuggets and those french fries".
See, John's gospel is different than the other gospels. Can I show you Jesus from John's gospel? In John's gospel, we're seeing that Jesus is fully God. He is the response of the call that started at the bush where Moses stood generations ago. Jesus is not a Johnny-come-lately. Jesus is not a fly-by-night Savior. Jesus is not a pop star or a flash in the pan. That's why he was not driven by popularity. He was not instant grits. Jesus came through 41 generations. From Abraham to David, from David to the exile, from the exile to Jesus was 41 generations. God found a man, used a man; found a man, used a man. But men kept messing it up.
So God finally said, "I'm tired. I'm tired of you trying to get to me. How about I come to you"? So the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. That's John 1:14. And we beheld the fullness of his glory. John sets out to show us a glimpse of who Jesus is. I wonder, do you know who Jesus is? Not who somebody told you he was in Sunday school in 1978. Not who we want him to be. Not the one who has the same melatonin as you. Not the one who votes the same as you. Not the one who only cares about what matters to you. I wonder, do you know him?