TD Jakes - Table Talk
It was at the table, God does some of his best work at the table. No wonder the Psalmist said, thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies, thou anointest my head, my cup runneth over. But he did it at the table, it all, it all happens at the table. Peter was criticized in the book of Acts because they criticized him for sitting at the table with uncircumcised people. Tension at the table. Tension at the table.
It is interesting to note that Luke, who writes the Gospel of St. Luke, is also the author of the book of Acts and over and over again he brings us to the table. He tells us that the early church continued steadfast in the Apostles' doctrine in breaking of bread and fellowship going from house to house. Luke keeps taking us back to the table, to the table, to the table. And once again, we are at the table. At the table.
Now for an Orthodox Jew to eat at the table is more than the consumption of food, it is a sign of fellowship. They did not eat with Gentiles, they did not eat with heathens, they did not eat with Samaritans. If a Gentile was to eat at the table they would break the plate. It was considered unclean, filthy. Eating was a sign of covenant and close relationship, it could take hours to consume a meal because it was a big deal to sit at the table. The fellowship of the covenant of the relationship between you and the table is probably more important than the food itself.
The food takes a backdrop. It all occurs at the table. And so he's at the dinner party, and he asks them, is it lawful for me to do my thing in your house? And that's what he's asking you. Is it lawful for me to do my thing in your house? I know it's your house, but I wanna know, do you mind if I can be myself? If you let me be myself I can bring a miracle into this house. If you let me be myself I can bring a miracle to your table. If you let me be myself I can deal with your child. But I want to know, is it lawful or do you have a law that exempts Jesus from being in your house, you only are a Christian at church. Oh, my God, my God, my God. And their silence opened up a door for God to move. It opened up a door for God to work.
And the Bible says that he called the man with dropsy and he healed him. And the moment the man got healed he sent him away. For him the dinner is over. Once I get what I want from the Lord, you can have the food. I never came for the food in the first place, I came because I was hoping that I'd get something more that I could get by myself, and once I get what I need I can go on my way. I didn't come to be seen by you, I didn't come to be in fellowship with you, I didn't come for a photo op, I didn't come so I'd add you to my resume, I came that I might see Jesus. And once he got his healing he got up and he left the table, leaving Jesus with his enemies.
And the Bible says, at this point it introduces the next point that I think is profound. It says that Jesus noticed how they were fighting for the best seats. Yeah. So this says to me that while they are watching Jesus, Jesus is watching them. Jesus is watching them. And while he's watching them, he noticed them rushing to get the high seat. Now the high seat, in case you don't know, is to sit closest to the hosts. And whenever you go to a dinner table whoever sits on the right or the left to the host is a sign of power and influence. And so they wanted it to be seen as being powerful people and they were fighting to sit at the head of the table as close as they could to the host. And Jesus is just sitting back.
Wait a minute. If anybody had a right to sit at that table and sit in that seat in the place of the highest honor it should've been Jesus. Nobody in there was as good as Jesus. And yet there are people that are fighting, trying to get into a position that even Jesus himself is just sitting back, he's just sittin' back lookin' at 'em, just, if he'd have worn glasses he'd have been looking like this. You know how you'll be lookin' sometime you don't say nothin', you just thinkin' to yourself that nobody to say nothing to. No friend with him to whisper in his ear, no Peter, James, and John, they're none of his circle, none of his boys, none of them.
He comes and, look at Jesus, how strong he is that he comes into a room full of enemies without bringing any backup with him, 'cause he's bad all by himself, he doesn't need the disciples to support him, he doesn't need his inner circle to have his back, he doesn't need his best friend to cover him. He said, I'm God enough that if I get myself into it, I can get myself out of it. And he walked into the room and sat down by himself, and they're watching him as if they have the power to decide whether he is right or not. And he is watching them.
To all of you who are trying to decide whether Christianity is relevant or not, to all of you who are trying to decide whether there's any room in a contemporary society for the church today, for all of you who are trying to decide in a postmodern society is the church still relevant while you are sitting up with your cynical self trying to decide whether the church has any relevance or not, you are looking at it but it is also looking at you, watching you fighting for power and position, watching you being judgmental and critical, watching you being self-righteous, watching your tear down people in the name of being right and better and superior and smarter. And Jesus is watching them. And all of a sudden at the table he started talking.
Now, the atmosphere is changing. Because Jesus said a certain man was having a wedding. Now bear in mind, he is not at a wedding, he's at a dinner. But his story is about a wedding supper. And he says, when you go where you are invited to a wedding, the first thing I want to start with invited. The very fact that you have been invited is a privilege. I want to speak to all the arrogant people who get offended because you didn't get the best seat and you didn't get to sit up front and nobody called your name on the program, nobody did this or that.
The very fact that you're invited is an honor. You've been invited to the wedding, he said, but when you are invited to the wedding, don't be so self-aggrandizing, don't be so self-enthroned, don't be so egoistic, don't be so egotistical, don't be so self-promoting, don't be so aggressive, don't be so assertive that you push yourself in beyond where you need to be. Jesus says the wisest thing to do when you come into a great house is not to push yourself into a realm where you set yourself up to be embarrassed.
He says, because somebody with more honor could come in and the host that had invited you may have to walk up to you with them and say, excuse me, do you mind sitting over here? The governor, or the so-and-so, or this or that has come and you would then have to get up and pack up your little stuff and have the embarrassment of having everybody watch you go down. It is not wise to puff yourself up and inflate yourself to impress people that really don't matter. It is much wiser for you not to inflate your image trying to impress people that don't matter because then all they can feel is disappointment when you come down.
Instead Jesus says, when you come into a situation that you have been invited into... oh, God I don't know who I'm preaching to but you're about to be invited into a new realm, a new audience, a new stage, a new place, and God is tryin' to get you ready for the new realm that you're getting ready to step in. This is not that. You can't handle this like you handle that. Just because you were big stuff over here don't mean you're gonna be big stuff over there.
And God is getting ready to take you to a whole 'nother level, and he's trying to train you how you're supposed to act when you walk in the room. He says, don't walk in the room and try to push yourself up close to the top. He says, it is far better to take the back seat. He says, because if you take the back seat, if you just take the back seat, if you just take the back seat, you open yourself up to the possibility of promotion. Good God, have mercy. When you humble yourself you become a candidate for a promotion. Hallelujah. If you just lower your noise, your name and your bragging about yourself.
Some of you got your entire resume on Instagram. If you just lower it down, you can't be all of that. I'm an architect, I'm a hairdresser, I'm an artist, I'm a designer, and I'm also a student of political science and I also do tax returns. Shut up! That's too much. Lower your seat, bring yourself down, bring yourself down, let people be surprised that you know more than they expected rather disappointed that you said more than you knew. Oh, y'all ain't gonna talk to me today. So, Jesus says, I want you to take the back seat so that when the host comes in he can say to you, "Oh, no, I don't want you back there, I want you to come up here".
The Holy Ghost told me to tell you to get ready for a promotion. Get ready for a promotion. To all of you that have humbled yourself get ready for a promotion. For all of you that sit in the back seat watchin' everybody rushing past you and you wonder, did God forget ya, this message is to you. God has not forgotten you. To all of you that felt like you've been cast aside, and they never ask you to sing, and they never ask you to say anything, and they never ask you to do anything, and you never get the appropriate, and you think you got more in you than your circumstances reflect, this Word is for you, Holy Ghost said promotion. Promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion.
Touch somebody and say, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion. God is getting ready to give you promotion and he's trying to show you how to handle it 'cause you're about to go into a room that's gonna open up a door for promotion. I feel the Holy Ghost speaking in this place today, he says, promotion, promotion, promotion. And you're saying, oh, God, I can't be in a promotion right now I'm in a pandemic. God doesn't care nothin' about a pandemic. If God gets ready to promote you, he'll promote you in spite, in spite of a pandemic. He'll raise you in spite of the storm, he'll lift you while other people are falling. A thousand may fall at your right, ten thousand may fall at your left side, but if God gets ready to take you up, God knows how to take you up.
Slap somebody, look at somebody, scream at somebody and tell 'em, I'm comin' up. They've been walking past me for years, but I'm comin' up. They've been making fun of me for years, but I'm comin' up. They've been ostracizing me, but I'm coming up. They've been talkin' about me like a dog, but I'm comin' up. I sat there and watched people with less talent walk past me like I was a dog, but I stayed where I was and I kept on praying. I knew that weeping may endure for a night, but joy is coming in the morning. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, it's morning in somebody's life and God is getting ready to raise you into a place that you've never been before.
I came to prophesy promotion over your life. I came to prophesy promotion over your life because you didn't murmur, because you didn't complain, because you clapped for other people's successes, because you held your peace. God said, I have not forgotten you, I'm gettin' ready to tap you on the shoulder and bring you into another dimension. Who am I preaching to? I'm talking to somebody that God is getting ready to take you out of your element. You're used to being in the back, you're comfortable with being in the back, it's normal to be in the back, but God is getting ready to take you to the next level.
Pack your bags, you're leaving. I said pack your bags, you're leaving, you're going to the next level and God is gonna raise you up in the presence of those who walked past you. The best part of promotion is that God won't promote you secretly, he's gonna promote you publicly, right in the faces of all the people that said you weren't nothing, said you weren't going to ever be nothing, said you weren't gonna ever have nothing.
When God gets ready to raise you, he will raise you anyway. Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, let me by, I'm getting ready to rise to another level. Oh, my God, my God, my God is comin' out of the table talk because you sat at the table and you've been soaking in wisdom, and you've been soaking in revelation, and you've been soaking in knowledge. God is getting ready to raise you up. Pack your bags, get your stuff together, you can get ready to move.
Now when you move, you must understand that a move up for you will cause dissension amongst those around you. What Jesus is preparing them to understand is that of all the things that God hates it is pride. I said, it's pride. He hates pride. He hates a proud look, he hates a condescending attitude, he hates a self-righteous disposition. What Jesus is trying to teach the Pharisees, look at the teacher teaching the teacher, look at the rabbi teaching the rabbis, look at the author teaching the teachers. He said, if you'll humble yourself, in due time God will exalt you, but if you exalt yourself, you got nowhere to go but down here. God hates pride.
We don't preach about it often but God hates pride. There are three things that are in the world, the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. Almost any time you hear preachers preaching, they're always preaching about the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eye, because those are things that manifest themselves in tangible ways. But pride is invisible. Pride can wear long dresses, pride can wear its hair in a bun, pride can put on a Brioni suit, pride can hide in secret places, pride does not announce itself, it's an attitude of your heart. And God said, if you don't get that pride out of you I'm going to have to bring you down.
Humble me, Lord, at your feet. Humble me, Lord, at your feet. Don't let me wear nothin' that's too good for me to humble myself at your feet, don't let me drive nothin' that makes me so high-minded that I stop humbling myself at your feet. God said, I'm gonna put you in a new job, but I still want you to praise me like you did when you were on unemployment. I'm getting ready to raise you up but I want you to stay humble in your spirit because pride is something that God hates. It's not just pride. He said, I hate a proud look. He said, I hate a proud look. I don't even want you to look like you're proud. I want you to go out of your way. The higher I take ya, the more humble I want you to be. The more I bless ya, the more I want you to bring yourself down. The more I give you, the more I want you to get down at my feet and humble yourself.
This is a kind of a thing that you learn in table talk. This is not a sermon. This is not Jesus preaching. This is not the beatitude. This is not the Mount of Olives. This is not the Mount of Transfiguration. This is the kind of stuff you learn when ya fellowship with Jesus. So tonight I want you to make it your business to go out to dinner with Jesus. I know you go to church, but you need to go to dinner with Jesus. My friends tell me I'm better at the table that I am at the pulpit.
There's something that happens at the table that's a completely different anointing. To all of you that only experience Jesus on Sunday morning, you're missing the best part of Jesus. Until your sup with him and 'til you sit down with him, until you include him on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, yeah, yeah, yeah. You can't see him once a week and get the kinds of things that change your heart, it might change your habits, but it won't change your heart. It may make you break up with their girlfriend, but it won't change your heart.
Humbleness is something that happens in your heart. Humbleness is where God deals with your attitude. Humbleness is how you see yourself and the world around you. And it all happened at the table. Have you been to the table with Jesus? Have you ever sat down with him? Have you allowed him to speak into your life? You see at the table that's ordinary stuff. In the midst of everyday life God wants a seat at the table. He wants to invade your normal, to get into your every day. He doesn't wanna be segregated off to an hour and a half on Sunday morning. He wants to get into your normal life.
When was the last time Jesus came up at your table? When was the last time you drove to work just chatting with Jesus? When was the last time that he got so in your conversation that people know you were his? In the course of a few hours at dinner he has shut the mouths of the Pharisees, he has healed a man sick of palsy, he has taught a class on humility, and they still haven't served dessert.
My, my, my, my. Oh, Lord. Let us have a little talk with Jesus. Tell him all about our troubles. "He will hear the faintest cry. He will answer by and by. When you feel a little prayer wheel turning and you know a little fire is burning, you'll find just a little talk with Jesus make it right. Little, have a little talk with Jesus, tell him all about our troubles, he will hear the faintest cry, Lord, he will answer by and by. When you feel a little prayer wheel turning you know, a little fire is burning. Just a little talk with Jesus makes it right".