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Reversing the Racial Curse, Part 1

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
February 24, 2022 7:00 am

Reversing the Racial Curse, Part 1

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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February 24, 2022 7:00 am

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Many of the problems that have been part of the history of our country is because people left the standard of God to satisfy the preferences of man. Dr. Tony Evans says the race problem grows out of a much deeper spiritual problem.

Never let your being part of a group define your spiritual responsibility or spiritual integrity. This is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of The Urban Alternative. Racists come in all colors and styles because, as Dr. Evans says, we pay more attention to the things that divide us than we do to the God who unites us. But today he explains how we can reverse the racial curse in our country.

Let's join him. Jesus in John chapter 4 has been baptizing more people than John, and they are out to get him. Since his time has not yet come, he decides to leave Judea and go north to Galilee. So verse 3 says he left Judea and went again into Galilee, but verse 4 gives us an editorial note that he had to pass through Samaria. Judea is in the south, Galilee is in the north. In order to get from Judea to Galilee in a straight line, you had to go through Samaria. Now that is unless you were an orthodox Jew, because an orthodox Jew would always bypass Samaria. The history of Samaritans goes back, and time will not let us go into replete detail, but it goes back to 722 BC when Assyria invaded Israel, and the Assyrians invaded Israel, and some of the Assyrians stayed in Israel, and then some of the Jews were taken in captivity to Assyria. This resulted in a lot of interracial marriages, or children born out of interracial copulation, and as a result of that, produced multicolored shades within this race of people because of the cross-pollenization, and this group was called Samaritans.

They were hated by the Jews because they did not have pure blood. So when it says that Jesus had to pass through Samaria, he was going against cultural norms and standards. Now, why does he have to pass through Samaria? Well, you're going to see it in a moment, but the reason he has to pass through Samaria is that at 12 noon, there's going to be a woman who shows up at the well for some water. So we're going to be told that the reason he passed through Samaria is because of a spiritual need that was going to be present at a well. And so the first thing I want you and I to know is that spiritual needs must always override cultural differences. Jesus would not let the cultural biases of his own people get in the way of the spiritual responsibility to his father.

He would not allow what his race said to interfere with what God wanted. So he had to pass through Samaria. We see him coming to Samaria in verse 5, and he comes to Sychar, and he comes near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. And Jacob's well was there, verse 6, so Jesus, being weary from his journey, was sitting thus by the well.

It was about the sixth hour, or 12 noon. So what we're told here is that Jesus Christ stops at a well. Now that would seem to be sufficient, but what he does is he goes into details about the well. He says it was on the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph where the well was located. So evidently, he wants us to know that this just wasn't any piece of water. This was a special piece of water given on the land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now why is that important? You see, the Jews didn't like the Samaritans because of racial history, and the Samaritans didn't like the Jews because of racial history.

And you're going to see that in a moment come out even more blatant. But the Jews and the Samaritans both loved Jacob because Jacob was claimed by both groups as their spiritual father. In other words, when Jesus wanted to meet this woman from the other side of the railroad tracks, he chose common ground. He picked a place where they may not agree with each other, but they all would agree with Jacob. In other words, he met her at the place of agreement.

Rather than starting with the differences, he started with what they had in common, and he met her at Jacob's well. So, Jesus is at the well. He's being wearied from his journey, and all of a sudden, there comes a woman, verse 7, of Samaria to draw water. So this woman comes to get her water, and Jesus says to her, give me to drink.

May I have a drink of water? Now keep verse 8 in mind. We're going to pick up on verse 8. Verse 8 is a key verse, but we can't deal with it yet. But it says, for his disciples had gone into town to buy food. But the woman comes, and the woman says, when Jesus asks for something to drink, therefore the Samaritan woman said to him, how is it that you, being a Jew, ask me for a drink, since I am a Samaritan woman? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. You see the problem?

She says, are you really asking to put your Jewish lips to my Samaritan cup? Where have you been? Don't you understand how it works in this neighborhood? Don't you understand? We live over here, and y'all live over there. We shop here, y'all shop there.

We eat here, y'all eat there. Don't you understand our history? Don't you know how long this history's been going on? This history's been going on since 722 BC.

This problem has been here for hundreds of years. I'm a Samaritan, you a Jew, and they don't meet. Can we all get along? No. I can't even believe you're asking to fellowship with me.

I can't even believe you're asking to interface with me. Now, that brings up some very interesting insights. Number one, how did she know Jesus was a Jew? Jesus never identifies himself as Jewish. All he's done is said one thing.

He says, can I have a cup of water? She says, how is it that you're being a Jew? Therefore, for her to know he was a Jew, he must have been obviously Jewish. In other words, he didn't have to say it because it would have been obvious, either through accent, through look, through dress, through skin tone, whatever.

The obvious thing was, it was clear to her, she is now being requested to cross a social line by somebody whose history says that can't work. What I want to glean at this point in the story is a simple principle, and that is Jesus didn't stop being who he was to relate to somebody else. He didn't give up being a Jew to interface with a Samaritan. He didn't feel like he had to run to get Samaritan clothes on so he would look like a Samaritan.

He didn't have to change his background, culture, and history in order to relate to somebody else. You see, the first thing where you and I must understand is that God is not expecting you to not be what he created you to be. He just doesn't want who you've been created to be to get in the way of doing what he wants you to do.

The disciples are going to town to buy food. Jesus has got a mission to carry out. He's not going to not be Jewish, but he's not going to let being Jewish get in the way of relating to somebody who's not. He would keep his culture. He would keep his background.

He would keep his history, but he would carry out his Father's will. Far too often we let our history and our background get in the way of what it means to be Christian. Jesus said, I'm a Jew.

I was made a Jew. I was born a Jew, so I'm going to look like a Jew, but I'm going to be a Christian Jew. You see, God is not asking blacks to be whites or whites to be blacks.

He's asking both to be biblical. If I say I am a black Christian and somebody else says, well, they're a white Christian, what they've done is made black and white an adjective. The job of an adjective is to modify a noun. So if you've got Christian in the noun position and your race in the adjectival position, since the job of the adjective is to modify and explain the nature of the noun, that means you've always got to change the noun of your faith to reflect the adjective of your culture. You've always got to make Christianity look this, that, or the other.

Well, the way it's supposed to work is that your history, background, race, and culture is to be in the noun position. Your faith should always be in the adjectival position so that you're always adjusting the noun of your culture to the adjective of your faith. In other words, you're bringing who you are, your history, your background, and your culture to look like the adjectival description of what you say you believe about God and Jesus Christ. The reason why this problem, this curse, if you will, has gone on and on and on, year after year after year after year, is we want to keep making Jesus fit into our cultural nuances, our cultural box, rather than saying, if anything has to adjust, it's me.

What we must understand is that God is not calling anybody to deny what He has made them, but He is calling everybody not to let what He has made them get in the way of what He wants them to be. Well, we'll get back to the rest of today's lesson in just a moment. In the meantime, you can learn more about reversing the racial curse and building unity in your church, in your neighborhood, and in our country with the help of Tony's current message collection, Faith, Hope, Unity. It explains how believers can set an example for the rest of the world by focusing on what draws us together instead of what pushes us apart. It's an honest assessment of how the sin of society has crept into the church, along with the biblical plan for healing the hurts and changing the future. We're making this six-lesson set available on CD or instantly downloadable MP3s in a limited-time offer with Tony's newly revised book, Oneness Embraced.

It's his signature work on Christian unity. This special package is a thank-you gift from us when you make a contribution to help support Dr. Evans' work here on the radio and around the world. Without your help, this ministry wouldn't be possible, so we want to send these to you as an expression of our appreciation. To take advantage of this limited-time offer, just visit us at TonyEvans.org or give us a call at 1-800-800-3222. That's 1-800-800-3222 or online at TonyEvans.org. I'll have our contact information again after Part 2 of today's lesson and this.

Impactful, amazing, intense, thought-provoking. That's how just a few students describe their experience since enrolling in the Tony Evans Training Center. The best part is the training center is wherever you and your online connection are. Going beyond a Sunday sermon, these compelling Bible study courses take a much deeper look at Scripture, the Bible's writers, social issues of today, and so much more. Log on today to learn more at TonyEvansTraining.org. TonyEvansTraining.org.

Explore the kingdom anytime, anywhere. Jesus did not give up culture. He was obviously Jewish, but he didn't let culture stand in the way. And this provided shock to this woman. This woman says, how is it that you, being a Jew, asks me, a Samaritan, for a drink?

You haven't been here long? We don't do that. Y'all are y'all, we are we, and we don't mix it like that. You are actually going to put your Jewish lips to my Samaritan cup? In other words, he acted in concert with the will of God even though the rest of his race wouldn't do it. While God never wants us to deny what he has made us, you being a Jew, he wants his standards to control our actions. The reason why we have suffered from this curse for so long is we have done what our particular race has told us is okay.

Or not okay. And so the group can make the individual feel guilty if the individual doesn't go with the group. Jesus never let the group overrule the Father.

He never let what the masses thought, who were part of his own background, interfere with what God expected him to do with carrying out the mission that he had called him to do. So the woman is shocked. She just can't believe that he's willing to put his Jewish lips to her Samaritan cup, that he's willing to act outside of what was socially acceptable in that day in order to carry out his Father's will. Before he ever started talking to her about her soul, which is what he's getting ready to talk to her about, he was willing to let her know that he was not going to disregard her person. So now the woman is warmed up because now this guy's willing to drink from my cup.

He must not be all bad. Jesus says, well, if you knew verse 10, the gift of God, who it is who says you give me a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water. Now, he didn't go on from give me a drink out of your cup to living water. What did he do? He went from the physical to the spiritual.

He went from the known to the unknown. He is now wanting to give her a spiritual truth about salvation and about a relationship with God that all started because he was willing to cross the cultural line and not allow what society thought to determine his decision-making. The woman says, still not understanding all this, you have nothing to draw and the well is deep. Where are you going to get this living water?

She didn't know what he was talking about. The water, you don't even have a cup. He says to her, everyone who drinks this water will thirst again. But whoever drinks the water that I will give him shall never thirst. But the water which I give him shall become in him a well water springing up into eternal life. In other words, if you drink what I'm telling you, it's going to change your life. It's going to give you salvation. It's going to give you forgiveness. It's going to give you a brand new life.

A Jew who's going to offer a Samaritan eternal life. Well, she said, give me that water. She still doesn't fully understand because she said, so that I will not be thirsty and have to come all the way out here to draw.

That's a long walk. You're going to give me living water? Give it to me. Jesus understanding that we need to go a little deeper here says to her in verse 16, go call your husband. Come on, I want to make this a family affair. This is the couples conference here.

Come on. Go call your husband and come here. The woman says, well, I have no husband.

Jesus says, you got that right. He said, you have correctly said, I have no husband. For you've had five husbands.

And the one who you're living with now is not your husband. So you have told the truth. Now, she didn't mean to tell the truth because she didn't know who she was talking to. She said, you're right. Jesus is all up in her business. She tries now to divert the conversation.

Stick with me here. She don't want to talk about that no more. She says, my great grandfather told my grandfather who told my father who told me that you worship on this mountain.

Behind her is Mount Gerizim where the Samaritans went to church. But you people, you all worship in Jerusalem. So I don't know who right. I got my background. My history has taught me this. Your background, your father's have taught you that.

So we can get together. We got two different histories. Two different backgrounds. Two different heritages. We don't agree. Jesus says to her in verse 21, woman, believe me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know. We worship what we know for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming and now is when the true worshipers worship the Father in spirit and truth for such people the Father seeks to worship Him. God is the spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. It's deep. Before, when she brought up the racial differences, you being a Jew, I'm a Samaritan, Jesus never commented on it.

He just said, can I have a drink? This time, however, she brings up the historical, cultural, and racial differences our fathers, but she brings Jesus' father into the racial conversation. Jesus said, now we got to talk about that.

Because, lady, your people are wrong. You've got a flaw in your history. And the flaw in your history is because you have perceived God incorrectly. And herein leads to a major biblical principle. And that is that black is only beautiful if it's biblical and white is only right if it agrees with the holy written Word of God. In other words, there must be a standard under which you put your racial history. You must measure what is done, who did it, and how it was done based on how it stacks up against the Word of God. Because now your race has a standard. Many of the problems that have been part of the history of our country is because people left the standard of God to satisfy the preferences of man.

The amount of lives that were lost in this country, and in particular South Africa, was because of people running outside of biblical norms and standards, of using the Word of God to make their cultural decisions okay, rather than using the Word of God to change their cultural choices. Well, he's talking to this woman. He tells her that God has a standard and God's not looking at your color first. He's looking at spirit and truth.

If you don't have those two things right, then bringing race has got nothing to do with nothing. Well, she said like a lot of Christians say in verse 25, she said I know when Messiah comes, he gonna fix it all. When Messiah comes, it's sort of like when we all get to heaven.

Okay? When Jesus comes back, he gonna right all these wrongs. Jesus said to her, I'm already here.

In verse 26. We don't have to wait until we get to heaven to fix this. We don't have to wait until we get the glory to turn this around. The Jesus who you think is gonna fix it in the future is already here right now.

It doesn't take that long. Dr. Tony Evans talking about the kind of attitude we need to overcome the curse of racism. Now if that's something you want to be a part of, we encourage you to request your own copy of Tony's current six-part teaching series, Faith, Hope, Unity, a tribute to Black History Month.

We're packaging these lessons along with his newly revised and forward-thinking book, Oneness Embraced. You can get these two resources bundled together as our way of saying thanks for your contribution toward the support of this ministry. Contact us before time runs out on Monday at 1-800-800-3222, where members of our resource team are standing by to help you.

That's 1-800-800-3222. Or visit tonyevans.org where you can make all the arrangements online. And while you're there, be sure to sign up for Tony's free weekly email devotional.

Once again, that's tonyevans.org. There's a saying that kindness is a gift everyone can afford to give. Well, as we've mentioned before, Dr. Evans believes kindness is a gift that our society can't afford not to give. Take the time to show kindness to those you meet today. And in the name of Jesus, look for opportunities to demonstrate kindness to someone who needs a touch from God. This will help make your community a better place when you demonstrate the love of God through your acts of kindness. Tomorrow, more from Dr. Evans on reversing the racial curse, including a look at why reconciliation doesn't mean abandoning our culture and our customs. Next, you'll be with us.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-31 12:29:54 / 2023-05-31 12:38:47 / 9

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