TD Jakes — Ye Know not What Ye Ask For
Hello, everybody. I'm excited to have this opportunity to share the Word of the Lord with you. I've got nothing better to share with you than his Word. The message today says, "Ye know not what you ask for". Lord, Lord, so many times we ask amiss. I believe this teaching is so powerful and pragmatic and prepared for such a time as this. And I share it with you with an open heart knowing that God will use this Word to guide you in some way into your destiny. Gas up, let's go.
"Ye know not what you ask". And I don't know what you got when you read that, but that text just lit me up. If you looked at it, you recognize that Jesus has called his disciples apart to deliver them some very, very important, disturbing news. "I am about to be crucified. They're going to scourge me, they're going to beat me, they're going to crucify me, and I know you've been following me for 3 years, and we've been together non-stop for 3 years, but I'm getting ready to die".
I want you to feel the feeling that in a moment if total transparency Jesus has called together his inner circle to divulge the fact that my future is not looking good. I'm gonna go through a process that's gonna be painful like you have never seen before, and I wanted to share this moment with you. And here comes this woman. He just said he was gonna die, and here comes this woman with her two boys saying, "Excuse me, Mr. Jesus, before you die, can you give me a hookup"? This woman walks up to Jesus and says, "Before you get out of here, I want to be sure that my sons, who are the sons of Zebedee, end up sitting on the right side and the left of you in your kingdom. I want a hookup".
Now, this is not a bad woman, she's a good woman. Her name actually should be pronounced Saulman but it looks like Salome. She is the wife of Zebedee. Zebedee has a fishing business. She's fairly affluent. She follows Jesus faithfully. She is a believer in Jesus. She is one of the women who ministered unto Jesus, and yet, when it comes to her kids, there is a struggle between who she is maternally and who she is spiritually. And Jesus says, "You know not what you ask".
Are you asking for something that is not his will for you to have? That's the general question. On Mother's Day, the specific question is, have you taken motherhood too far? Are you mothering a grown child? These aren't little boys like was out here skippin' around, you gotta take them by the hand. These are grown men. What are grown men doing being drug around by their mother, anyway? That's what's wrong in our society now. We got too many grown men who are still being drug around by their... uh-oh, this is not gonna be a good Mother's Day. It's not gonna be a good Mother's Day.
I know you want me to preach about Hannah or something like that, but I'm gonna get up in your grill a little bit this morning. When does a mother back up? When does she turn it over to Jesus and say, "Lord, I have brought him as far as I can bring him, and the rest of it is in your hands," or are you gonna spend the rest of your aging life dragging your grown sons trying to make their story turn out the way you had in mind? I want you to understand the difference between mothering and manipulation. And we can't broach the subject until you begin to address the fact that sometimes you can see yourself through the narrow prism of who you are to them and lose sight of who you are to you.
If all you are is a wife and a mother, then you have missed a lot, because before you were a wife, and before you were a mother, you were a woman. Are there any real women in the room? Let me tell the real women you are more than the job you do. You are more than the children you have. You are more than the ring on your finger. And stop defining your success by your relationships. Let me give you a wakeup call this morning. With no husband, no kids, no respect, no flowers, no cards, you are still God's woman, and you better learn how to clap for your... what are you dragging? What are you dragging to Jesus? Your children are not sick. You're not the Shulamite woman, you're not dealing with death, or famine, or pestilence, this is a job.
And this woman is dragging these kids in here as if they were not already blessed. Jesus has esteemed them, included them, brought them into the Garden of Gethsemane, took them on the Mount of Transfiguration, carried them everywhere with him, and Mama's still looking for a hookup. "I was just wonderin', Jesus, before you die, could you get my boys a position on the right and the left"? And then Jesus says, "Woman, ye know not what you ask". This is the Jesus who had the amazing mother.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is an amazing mother. She withstood the scorn of the entire city, the controversy of her intended to tell the world that she was pregnant by the Holy Ghost. She was so committed to her cause that she was pregnant riding on a donkey. She was so committed to her cause that when there was no place for them to stay, she gave birth in a stable, wrapped the baby up in swaddling clothes, held him just the same, loved him just the same, nurtured him just the same. She was a mother on the run.
When they were trying to kill her baby, she was a mother on the run and said, "Not my baby". Carried him down into Egypt, hid him for 2 years, and said, "The devil cannot have my child". She was a mighty mother. Are there any mighty mothers in here who stood up against hell and high water and said, "You cannot have my..." livin' in bad neighborhoods but raised good kids 'cause you hid 'em, and said, "Not my child". I will fight for you to have a chance. And yet, at the age of 12 years old, Jesus disappears from his mother and says, "I must be about my Father's business".
And the slow cutting of the umbilical cord starts at 12. By the time he's 30, the cord has been cut so severely that she's trying to get in to hear him, and they said, "Your mother's at the door, Jesus". And then Jesus, who is the epitome of love, says, "Who is my mother"? Why are you trying to attach me to where I've been while I'm reaching to where I'm going? I know you don't like this on Mother's Day, but when Jesus says, "Who is my mother," he says, "You keep trying to keep me tied to where I started, and now I am so focused on my purpose that I've got to move to where I'm going. And don't keep trying to pull me back to where I was. Who is my mother"?
Showing that as children get older, they never stop appreciating you, and they never stop being nice to you, they should never stop respecting you, they should never stop honoring you, but they should live their own life. You see, Jesus loved his mother, I know he did, 'cause he stopped dying. He stopped dying to talk to his mama. He stopped dying to say, "Take care of my mother, John. Take care of my mother".
Any time you stop dying on a cross to make sure your mama is good, that speaks something about what a grown child's responsibility ought to be to your mother. You ought to never get so high or so big that you disrespect your mama. Jesus was on the cross dying, and he was still respecting his mama. It is the only thing that God said, it is the only commandment that God said, "If you obey it, and honor your father and your mother, I will add years to your life. I'll give you more years if you'll shut your mouth about your mama".
He says, "I want you to understand something about this process. I'm getting ready to go through some things, and when I go through things, it's gonna escalate". He said, "They're gonna mock me, they're gonna scourge me, they're gonna crucify me". They're gonna mock me, that's verbal. They're gonna scourge me, that's beatings. They're gonna crucify me, that's killing. Whenever God is getting ready to promote you, there will always be an escalation of trouble. I don't know who that was for, but it was worth coming through the rain to get. Whenever God is getting ready to promote you, there will always be an escalation of trouble.
He said, "They're gonna mock me, they're gonna scourge me, they're gonna crucify me. It's gonna start out amongst my own people," and he said, "Then, they're gonna turn me over to the Gentiles and it's gonna get worse". Whenever the enemy knows you have a destiny, he will always send a distraction to stop you from getting to your destiny. And the distraction will always escalate before it gets better. "They're gonna mock me, they're gonna scourge me, they're gonna crucify me". The enemy comes to kill, to steal, and destroy.
It's always gonna get worse before it gets better. You have to understand that when all of this is said and done, are you sure you can handle the process before you ask for the promise? Because I'm not gonna let you sit in my seat until you've suffered with me. Jesus says, "You cannot reign with me if you do not suffer with me". I don't know who I'm talking to, I know this is not a regular Mother's Day message, but I'm telling you to him whom much is given, much is required. And before you ask for something, look in that cup, 'cause Jesus said, "You're talking about the place you wanna sit, and I'm talkin' about the cup I gotta drink". Are you so focused on where you wanna sit that you haven't looked at what you have to drink to get there?
What amazed me about the text is that Jesus tells this mama, "Be careful what you ask for. You are asking for your kids to die. I can't put them in that position if they can't handle this cup". And he says back to them... let me break this baptism for you new Bible scholars. Baptism is about death, it is not about water. When Jesus says, "I have a baptism to be baptized with," he's not talking about water, he already came up out of the water. He's talking about what the water temperfied which is the grave. And when he told 'em, "You gotta drink the cup, and you gotta go through the baptism," these dummies said, "We got this".
This text illustrates how we underestimate what it takes to get to the next level. That we are caught up in the allurement of who sits on the right and who sits on the left, but we have not looked in the cup nor inspected the cross which is the path to the position. We want the promise without the problems. We want acknowledgement without agony. We want riches without work. Talk to me, now. We want fame without loneliness. We want pleasure without pain. I'm sorry, you know not what you ask. Before you ask God for the chair, be sure you look in the cup. Because between you and the chair is always a cup.
And this mother knew not what she asked for because she was distracted by the attraction of the position, and she never understood the pain that goes along with every position. Every position has its pain. I'm gonna try y'all. Every position has its pain. If you're gonna be a homeowner, that's a great position, but it's got some pain to it. It's got some maintenance you didn't have to have before. It's got some issues you didn't have to deal with before. If you're gonna own your own car, that's a nice, shiny car you got, but you're gonna need some gas, and you're gonna need some tires, and you're gonna run out of oil, and you're gonna need to change the battery.
See, we want positions without pain. We want to sit in the seat, but we don't wanna drink from the cup. And when Jesus told her how much it costs, when he told her how much it costs, we're not talking about a check, we're talking about dying. When he told her what it costs, they said, "We got this". Ha, ha, ha, really? Really? He says, "Before I get to the resurrection, I'm gonna be mocked, I'm gonna be scourged, and I'm gonna be crucified".
My final five minutes is to all of those who are somewhere in that stage of being mocked, of being scourged, or being crucified. You're going through humiliation right now, your life is a mockery. Let me testify. Many times in my life, my life has been a mockery. Many times the things that I did publicly I struggled with privately. Can I be real with you? Many times, I could help you with your stuff and couldn't fix mine. Can I be real with you? Many times, my life was a mockery. How could you be so strong about this and so weak about this? It was a mockery. Have you ever had something happen to you that mocked everything you stood for? That said, "I thought you was a Christian. I thought you was a man of faith? I thought you were a woman of power? I thought you were counseling other people's marriages? I thought you, I thought you, I thought you".
I wanna talk to the people that life mocked you. You're running a counseling center and your daughter pregnant. Life mocked you. You helping your girlfriend with her marriage and your husband just walked out the back door. Is there anybody in here that life mocked you? You gonna get mocked sometimes. You gonna get beat sometimes. If you never get beat, you'll never understand how to win. If you never get beat, you won't respect the game. If you never get beat, you'll never understand who you are.
I wanna talk to somebody who's going through a period where life has beat you down. You almost didn't even come to church today because life has beat you down. Make some noise if I'm preaching to you. And then you can be mocked in private, and you can be beaten in private, but you can only be crucified in public. He said, "They're gonna mock me, they're gonna beat me, and then I'm gonna go through public humiliation. They're gonna crucify me, nail me so I can't get out of it, strip me naked, and expose me to the world".
And the terrible thing about being stripped naked is that it always creates shame, even though the shame is foolish because your nakedness is no different than mine. Your issues are no different than mine. You secrets are no different than mine. Your situations are no different than mine. But when somebody strips you and puts you on public display, you feel like you're in a situation all by yourself. Is there anybody in here feel like you are all by yourself? So Jesus told the woman, he said, "They're gonna mock me," he said, "Then they're gonna beat me, and then they're gonna crucify me". He said, "But when they get through crucifying me, let me tell you what's gonna happen next".
Touch your neighbor and tell 'em, "Your story is not over". After you've suffered a while, if you can stand up to them talking about you, if you can stand up to getting beat sometime, if you can stand up to being crucified sometime, weeping may endure for a night, but joy is comin' in the morning. Going gets tough, going gets tight, going gets painful, don't give up. When you're publicly humiliated, don't give up, because if you can hang on in there, early Sunday morning. Early Sunday morning, you'll rise again. I'm crying right now, but I'll rise again. I'm bruised right now, but I'll rise. I'll rise.
I gotta stop there. It's been a real joy to have you on board as we are on the gospel train moving into our destiny. May the grace of God keep you and move you even further into your purpose. We have a time, a purpose, and a plan for our lives, and we are all guided into that plan and position by God's grace in some way. Take care of you.