TD Jakes - Redefining My Hood
He fell amongst thieves, people who catch you vulnerable. If I was up on my feet I could handle you, but I fell and now you're able to take advantage of me in a way that you couldn't take advantage of me if I was on my feet. You met me when my defense was down, you met me when I lost my house, you met me after a divorce, you met me when I was in a state of depression, you fell amongst thieves. You know you're around a thief when they strip you, this is a sign of the thief. They strip you, they take from you, they take, they take from you and they hurt you and they leave you. Three things, they take from you, they hurt you and they leave you. Go back through your life. They take from you, they hurt you and they leave you half dead.
My old folks used to say, "I like to died". It don't mean that you like dying but it, I know it sounds like you like dying, but sometimes you can hurt so bad that death sounds good compared to the pain of the way you were hurt. Left him half dead. But the point of the story that Jesus is telling him is not about the thief, it's really not about stripping him and wounding him and leaving him half dead, that's not the point. The point is, at this low estate, how does this man define his hood? If he was in Jerusalem, it is safe to assume that he is an Orthodox Jew in Jerusalem, the city of peace, to worship. And here comes somebody who is near him and thinks like him, and he's a priest. He's a priest, a priest represents God to man and represents man to God. And the priest came over where he was, saw him and decided helping him was too expensive and walked away, left him bleeding. All the while he's waiting, he's bleeding, he's not just bleeding at the point of contact, he is bleeding after the contract.
Have you ever been through something that left you bleeding, and you couldn't stop your own bleeding? It's like the woman that was bent over for 18 years, the Bible says she, "Could in no wise lift up herself". There are some things that you get into you cannot get you out of. Yeah, I'm gonna say that again. There are some things that you get into that you cannot get you out. If this man could've fixed himself, he'd got up and left, it's not like it's fun to lay on the Jericho Road, it's hot in the day, it's cold in the night, and he's bleeding and he's half dead and he was going somewhere. I was on my way somewhere when you met me, I was gonna be something when you met me. You have stripped me, you hurt me, you left me. If I could fix this hole, I'd fix it.
Now, here comes my homie, my high priest homie, my, "Yo, what's up," homie, my speak-the-same-language homie. Buenos dias, hombre, my dude, bro, looked at him and walked away. Wait a minute, shh-shh, I hear steps coming, steps is hope. "Better days are coming, by and by". It's the steps coming. It's the Levite, another one of my homies, he looks at me, I know I'm about to get up now. Here come disappointment, mixed with my death, left me too. I don't know which is worse, the half dead or the disappointment or hearing steps coming. Have you ever heard steps coming and your heart got happy and they stopped and walked away? Now, here comes the last step, and the last step comes from the most unlikely person.
See, when we preach about the Good Samaritan, we call the Good Samaritan like he's Jesus. You know? And there are some ways that you could use him that he does channel some of the ministries of Jesus, but it's important that you understand that the reason Jesus, in his story, makes the Good Samaritan the Good Samaritan is that Jews hated Samaritans. You remember the woman at the well? She said, "You know y'all don't have no dealings with us, what did you come down here talking to me? You're a Jew, you all don't deal with us". Will you receive help outside your hood? That's what the story's really all about. It is Jesus trying to enlarge the lawyers understanding of neighbor-hood, Jesus is saying that sometimes God will use somebody who doesn't live near you and doesn't think like you to raise you up.
And I have learned that people who cannot enlarge their hood, oh, you like to say it this way, enlarge my territory, that's the way church people like to say it. "Enlarge my territory, enlarge my territory". What that really means is enlarge my hood. When you ask God to enlarge your territory you are asking God to enlarge your understanding of neighbor-hood. You notice when my brother got up and got to talking how funny he sound? the brother from South Africa. We like to say he sound funny, because the reality is we sound funny to him. And he have a hard time understanding me, he gotta listen real good because I talk funny to him. Okay? And yet we're doing business together, we have to listen at each other a little longer but we get it done, and we would have missed a huge blessing if I didn't see him in my neighbor-hood. Who is your neighbor? Maybe your life isn't moving the way it ought to be moving because your hood is too small.
Stay with me, stay with me, stay with me. Your hood may be too small for your vision. Jesus is teaching a very profound point, he's breaking through a natural propensity to have a biased expectation of where your help is going to come from. Suppose, suppose God sends you to another part of town and get the word you need. Suppose God anoints somebody with the word that doesn't look like you, suppose they don't sing like you, suppose they don't shout like you, suppose they don't keep your traditions. These young preachers now, they don't dress like this, they got on blue jeans and t-shirts, they sagging and talking about Jesus. I don't care if you got on pajamas, if you got a word from God I want to hear from you. When I got to Dallas, a certain group of folks stayed on the north side, certain folk stayed on the south side. What are y'all talking about? You crazy? There's a man in the city and he's healing, and if I want a touch from God, I'll go north, south, east, west. I don't care which way it is, just show me where Jesus is, I want the glory of the Lord in my life.
You can't get blessed outside the hood if you can't love outside the hood. See, your blessing is going to come through your loving. See, Jesus is teaching about love. Suppose the man would have been on the Jericho Road talking about, "Not from no Samaritan". God used a Samaritan to stop the bleeding. Let me tell you what the Samaritan did, this is how you know it's God, the Samaritan got down off his beast. When people will be self-sacrificing, God sent them. As long as you are more important to you than anybody else, you're not the one. This man got down, he didn't have nothing to do with this, he wasn't in the fight, he didn't know the guy. He got down off his beast, he poured in the oil and the wine, he didn't charge him, he didn't say, If you got some money, "I can hook you up," he just saw a need and he filled it.
See, I'm describing love because if you've never seen it you don't know what it looks like. Love is self-sacrificing, love is caring, love gives, it doesn't take, it gives. He poured in the oil and the wine, he bandaged him up. This is what trips me out, he took the guy who was down and put him on the beast. Now picture this, the guy who rode in walked out. C'mon here, you better help me preach. He came down so that this guy could come up, I'm trying to show you what it looks like so you'll recognize it when you see it. Anytime somebody is willing to go out of their way and be inconvenienced so you can be convenienced, that's a sign. I prophesy to you this Sunday morning, things are about to switch in your life. You were the tail but you're about to be the head, God is about to switch some things in your life.
If you receive it, give God a praise. You've been loyal to people you should have left alone. Loyal-loyal-loyal, standing right there and they don't come down, they don't come over, they don't pour in, and you just standing there, standing there, standing there. Shake that dust up off of your feet. Watch this, your hood, we talked about race, we talked about gender, I want to talk about economics. Some people only feel comfortable around people of the same income or they speak the same slang or they eat the same food or they share the same weakness, that's your hood, that's your hood. And what God sent me here to talk to you about was redefining your hood. The moment you redefine your hood, your help is coming.
Can I go just a little bit further? This man came where he was, he didn't just look at him, he came where he was. It's a picture of Jesus, who came where we were and came down from glory and humbled himself so that we might be exalted. Paul said it this way, "He became poor, that through his poverty we might be made rich". Here I am riding on a beast not even mine. God said, "I'm gonna give you houses that you didn't build, I'm gonna give you vineyards that you didn't even grow".
I don't know who I'm prophesying to but I'm prophesying to somebody. You're going to be riding on something you didn't even pay for, God is getting ready to open up a door for you so wide. So they brought the brother down, I'm almost finished, whew, touch your neighbor and say, "Redefine your hood". Them people are stifling you, they're holding you back, them people, your little running partners are stifling you, their little stinking thinking and their narrow-minded and small attitudes are holding you back. And they put him on the beast and they brought him down to the innkeeper, somebody else he didn't know. The guy paid for his room, paid for his care and said, "Take care of him, I brought him as far as I could bring him".
Now I'm gonna relay, don't fall in love with what God did yesterday, he had to be willing to move from the beast to the bed. Some of y'all won't find the bed because you won't move from the beast. Oh, I'm preaching this morning, I'm going to show you one more thing. He says to the innkeeper, he says, "Take care of him," and he gave him, I believe it was two denarii and he said, "If I owe you anything, I'll pay you when I return". The assumption is, watch this, watch this, it's very important, it's very important for somebody, I know I didn't give you enough for what I call you to do. I know you're gonna go through a period that you're spending out of your stuff trying to help somebody else, I know you're going to be giving courage when you need to be encouraged, I already know that you're gonna be operating in the red, I know you feel tired 'cause you're giving more than what you expected, I know that you're out of budget and out of energy and out of emotion, I know that you're suffering from compassion fatigue, you helped everybody and I know you've been wondering, "When is somebody gonna help me"? But he said, "I give you this promise: when I come again, I'm gonna pay you everything you lost, everything you gave, everything you did".
I've gone through periods that I gave so much I thought I would die. I've been up praying with people and encouraging people when I needed somebody be up praying and encouraging me. I've been lifting people when it wasn't convenient, been there for them, been there for them, been there for them, been there for them; when I needed them, they looked the other way. But the Lord told me something the other day and it blessed my life. He said, "Everything that I ever did for you, you thought it was your harvest but you were wrong, it was your seed". He said, "Now, I'm getting ready to bring you into your harvest".
Look, I don't know who I'm preaching to today, but you have spent out, you've spent out. I'm not just talking about money, I'm talking about compassion, I'm talking about care, I'm talking about love, I'm talking about energy, I'm talking about strength. And you're saying, "God, I don't have enough," but he said, "When I come back, I'm gonna make it up to you, I'm going to bring you into the harvest that so exceeds what you thought was a harvest that you're gonna look back at what you used to praise me for and you're going to recognize that that was just a seed on what I was about to do in your life". Whoever needs that, lift your hands up in the air right now.
The word of the Lord has been spoken unto you today. You must be intentional. Your hood is too small, a change is coming in your heart. Two things you have to do to live: number one, "Love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and all of your soul, and all of your mind," that's number one; number two is why he told the story, you must, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself"; and then you shall live. God would not command it if you couldn't do it, that would not be fair. "Lawyer, stop making excuses". This he said to cover himself. God's getting ready to increase your capacity.