TD Jakes — A Brighter Day
Greetings in the invincible name of Jesus Christ, our King. I am delighted and, in fact, I'm excited to have an opportunity to share with you a word that is provocative, that is profound, that is powerful. I wanna take it out of its historical context, just sharing a Bible story, and use it metaphorically to explain some issues that I think are relevant to your life, your situation, and the greater world that we're living in today. And this is a troubled world. The message comes out of Mark 8:25 through 31. It is a powerful message. I call it, "A Blind World, a Blurred Church, and a Bright Day". Take a look at this. You're gonna be blessed.
He asked the disciples, "Who do you say that I am"? Immediately, all minds rush to Peter's answer but, as we rush to Peter's answer, we bypass the silence of the 11. And I wanna suggest to you today that the silence of the 11 screams much louder than the answer of the 1. How could you walk with Jesus all of this time and not perceive at all who he was, not make any stab at all? In some ways I am more embarrassed by the silence of the disciples than I am the confusion of the naysayers. At least the naysayers had developed some sort of opinion. But look at the masses of people that followed Jesus and could not make up their mind, didn't have the courage or the revelation or the understanding to even make a stab at who he was.
And let me tell you something. It's a terrible thing to lead people who do not respect who you are. So I'm troubled by silent people. I don't need no silent people. I don't need no silent friends. I don't need no silent lovers. I don't need no silent family. I don't need no silent supporter. Don't love me in secret. If you're gonna love me, come out the closet. If you're gonna love me, open your mouth. I don't need no secret friends. I don't need no secret allies. I don't need no quiet witnesses. Come out, come out, wherever you are. Come out, come out, wherever you are!
And then there is the amazing, amazing, splendiferous, magnanimous moment in which Peter says, "Thou are the Christ. Thou are the Christ, the Son of the true living God". This is to me one of the most amazing moments in the Bible because in another one of the gospels Jesus reveals flesh and blood have not revealed this unto you but my Father which is in heaven. For Peter to know that Jesus was the Christ, Christos, the Anointed One, the Messiah. For Peter to know that Jesus was the Christ and for Jesus to say to him, "Flesh and blood have not revealed this unto you but my Father which is in heaven," how did Peter get direct contact with the Father before the cross?
Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. That means that Peter had stepped into some supernatural flow and had made contact with the Father without Jesus ever going to the cross. No wonder he said, "Thou art the rock and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". Because the church is built on men who get direct revelation from the Father. Every now and then, God will send somebody and show 'em something. Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. Oh, have you ever had him show you something? Have you ever had him illuminate something in your life? "Flesh and blood have not revealed this unto you but my Father which is in heaven".
Oh, glory to God. That means that the heavens opened up. I know that the heavens opened up on Calvary. I know that the veil in the temple was rent from the top and the bottom. I know it was ripped from the top to the bottom in the temple, even as the veil in his flesh was cut. That the cutting of the veil in the flesh was indicative of the cutting of the veil in the temple from the top to the bottom, and that the veil that was between the earth and the heavenlies was split open too and that the veil between life and death ripped open too and dead men were seen walking the streets of Jerusalem.
See, I feel like preaching better than you feel like having church. I know that when he died, he opened up some stuff. Oh, when he died, dead men were seen walking the streets, the heavens opened up, the veil in the temple was rent, the veil in his side was cut. Let me tell you, he is the way. That's what he means when he says he is the way. "I'll make a way out of no way. I'll rip it open for ya. I'll pull it back for ya. I'll reveal myself in a fresh way because I am God and besides me there is no other".
Look at somebody and say, "He is the way". He's not a way. He's not a way. He is the way. He's the way where there is no way. And before he lets you miss it, he would rip it open to give you access into the next dimension. Oh, anybody carry an access card? I got access. Oh, glory to God. I got something better than Visa or Discover or American Express. I got Access. In the name of Jesus, things open up for me. They split open for me. They move out my way for me. He'll rip it open.
I know you said I'm dead, but you gonna see me walking. And all of that. You see people around you praising God. The people around you that are praising God are praising God because God is opening up some stuff for them. Opening up things that were closed before. Opening up places that were shut down. Opening up revelation. Opening up grace. Opening up strength. Opening up maturity. I want the people that are seeing God rip some things open for 'em give God some praise right now. Glory to God.
This blind man was not the only one that was blind. He's a blind man from a blind city, surrounded by 11 apostles that were blind and blurred and stumbling and struggling. And Peter had revelation insight as to who Jesus was. He's a part of the story but there is so much blindness, so much blindness in this story.
I used to preach this message. You might be able to remember. I used to call it "The Second Touch," yeah, because I would talk about the first touch when Jesus touched him and he saw men walking as trees. And then the second touch, I would talk about how when he touched him, they opened his eyes. Well, what I was preaching was true but I miscounted. Yeah, I miscounted. I didn't realize that what I was calling the first touch was really the second touch. Because the first touch came, Curtis, they brought the man to Jesus for him to heal him. Bethsaida was used to Jesus healing people. They were used to seeing him perform miracles. They brought him to Jesus for Jesus to heal him. And Jesus took him by the hand. That's the first touch. He took him by the hand and nothing about his blindness changed.
What is it when you know that he has touched you and nothing about your condition has changed? I came to you because I was blind and you've been touching everybody else and they've been seeing you. And I was expecting when I made contact with you that my condition would get better. But he took him by the hand and even though his condition remained the same, he led him out. Ain't nothing changed but we got a relationship. The storms are still raging but we got a relationship. The wind is still blowing but we got a relationship. Your body's racked with pain but we got a relationship.
The first touch was not to heal him. It was to bring him out of the environment of doubt and fear and decadence and destruction. He said, "The reason you can't get your breakthrough is that you've been hanging around Bethsaida". Oh, do you hear what I'm saying to you? Do you hear what I'm saying to you? I've been telling you for weeks, "Don't worry about having good seed. Worry about finding good ground. 'Cause if you got good seed but you're in bad ground, you can't get what you need".
Leading you out is a process. Here is your challenge. Can you follow me in the dark? Can you feel your way through it? Can you go through a period that you still be faithful even though nothing has changed in your life? Will you trust me in the shadows? Will you still be with me when you got to just go by what you feel 'cause you can't see nothing? But I got you. You will notice that it does not say that the blind man took Jesus by the hand. No, because the blind man's grip could be broken but it says that Jesus took the blind man by the hand. It's not that I got a hold on God. It's that God's got a hold of me. My grip may slip but God has got a hold of me. Oh, God has got a hold of me. I can't see but God has got a hold of me.
Now Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John. It's always about threes. My God, what in the world was I thinking about, talking about the second touch? It's gonna take more than two to get us home. Hallelujah, it's always about threes. The first touch pulls you out of it. Out of the environment, out of the influences. Away from the naysayers, away from the doubters, away from the people who have defined you by how they met you, who have called you the blind man. They don't even know your name. They call you by how they met you. Oh, but when I finish with you, I'm gonna define you. I'm gonna start you over. I'm gonna set you free in the first touch.
He pulled him out and he is still blind. We have a world that God keeps pulling out but they are still blind. Pulling them out of tragedies, adversities, crisis, and calamities. They are still blind. The blind world. And then Jesus touched him. And when he touched him the second time, when he touched him again, he says, "What do you see"? Every touch has a test. You cannot enjoy the touch if you're not willing to take the test. You can't receive this word and not be tested. You can't sit up under this kind of ministry and not go through anything. Every touch has a test. This is not for your entertainment. Every touch has a test. I'm not doing this for my health. Every touch has a test.
So he touched him and then he tested him. Said, "What do you see"? He says, "I see men walking as trees". So this brings me to the blurred stage of the second touch. The blurred stage. He saw men walking as trees. And later when we read the story, we will find that the disciples knew that Christ was the Messiah but didn't know that he would go to the cross. So Jesus is surrounded by people who can see men but not see the tree.
How could Peter see so clearly that he could make connection with the Father and see that Jesus was the Christ but he was blind to the cross? And when it came to the cross, Jesus called him a devil and said, "Get behind me because thou savors not the things of God," but yet, just a moment ago, was saying I was a rock. Well, I can be a rock about this... Oh, no. Y'all aren't gonna talk to me. In the same story, the rock and the devil are all sitting in the same man. In the same story. He's rock about this but he's devilish about that. I know nobody in here understands. Nobody in here understands and I know you're too much church folk to admit that you understand.
So if you keep looking straight ahead and look confused, nobody will know the struggle that goes on inside of you that while you are righteous about this, you are wrong about that. While you are spiritual over here, you are carnal over here. How dare you judge somebody else when you are running around with your blurred self? You mean you can't talk to nobody blind? You just one step away from blindness yourself. You're not clear on everything either. Living in the blur, I'm not what I used to be but I'm not what I'm going to be. I am in the blurred stage. Stop making definitive statements while you're in a blur.
Whoa! That was worth getting out the bed this morning. That one statement right there, it's worth everything you went through to get here. Because I have seen people kill their future by the decisions they made in a blurred stage. You'd be surprised what you can't tell. If I take my glasses off, I can see you. I can see you. But your details get blurry. So I can't really see you. I know you're sitting there. I know what color you got on. I know whether you're a man or a woman but I can't see the details 'cause I'm in a blurred stage. And for preaching, I can preach with my glasses off but if I had to shoot a mosquito off the back of your shoulder, you wouldn't want me to shoot from a blurred stage.
Do you not know every time you make a decision in a blurred stage, you're trying to shoot a mosquito with your glasses off? You're in a blurred stage. You got divorced in a blur. Some of you got married in a blur. O God, help me. Left cities, moved out of homes, walked away from jobs, in a blurred stage. Preaching in a blurred stage, telling people who's going to hell. How dare you with your blurred self try to tell me who's going... are you God in your blurred stage? The Bible said: "Now we see through a glass, darkly; then face to face". So you have to stand right where you are. You have to stand right where you are 'cause you're in a blurred stage.
I don't know whether to move about. I don't know whether to plant because I have learned the dangers of making decisions in the blur. The church is in a blurred stage. And if we would just humble down and stop trying to act like we can see more than we can see. What I like about this man is that he was honest. He didn't try to act like he could see more than he could see, that he knew more than he knew. Most of what you know is what somebody read, what you read in a book, some man told you, what you were taught. You think the way you think because of the environment that you came up in.
Do you know how many people we have killed with conjecture? Killed, killed the prophets and thought we did God service because we were a blurred church in a blurred stage, shooting at people with our glasses off, killing opportunities, killing off families, killing men and women of God, killing our husbands, our wives. Who are you to be pastoring your husband? Shut up and be his wife. Get back in your place. You're in a blurred stage. Quoting Scriptures and you lying yourself, in a blurred stage. We will mess up people with false justice because we are in a blurred stage.
If this man would have lied about how well he could see, he would have never been made whole. What God had healed was not so much faith, it was honesty. It was the courage to say, "I'm better than I was, but I still don't have it like I'd like to have it. I'm in a blurred stage right now". See, the devil doesn't want you to be honest. He wants you to be impressive. He wants you to walk around with your chest stuck out, guarding your reputation, making people think that you're more than you are. But the Bible said that if you humble yourself, God will exalt you. If you come down off your high horse, God will raise you up. If you admit I can't see as good as I would like, God said, "I'll give a second touch but I will only give it to an honest man".