Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter’s House of Dallas preached a sermon titled “God Still Wants You.” In it, he reminds listeners that God wants you no matter what mistakes you have made in your life.
Jakes introduced the sermon by sharing that a few years ago, he preached at a funeral for a minister who was caught in a scandal that “cost him his life.” Everyone was waiting to hear what Jakes had to say about the situation because the scandal was so controversial.
“There is not a person under the sound of my voice who does not have something in your life that you would not want to read about in (sic) the front page of a paper,” Jakes told the audience. It was a reminder to those at the funeral that everyone has done something of which they are not proud.
Jakes found it interesting that “when we get somebody else’s dirt we go absolutely bananas,” but we don’t take time to acknowledge our own sinful actions. He suggested that it’s due to shame.
However, he stated that it is normal for us to have shameful moments because we are human, and “to be human is to be complex.”
“The Bible is careful to give us moments of humanity to balance the opulence of the anointing so that you can make a distinction between the treasure and the vessel,” Jakes said, using John 18:25 as his reference.
In John 18 Peter denies Christ during His crucifixion. When people asked him if he was Jesus’ disciple he responded by saying, “No, I am not.” Jakes opined that Peter likely felt shame at that moment because he was supposed to be a rock, but his actions belied that fact.
Jakes also referred to the gnostic book The Gospel of Judas, which challenges believers to reconsider that Judas’ intent was to not betray Jesus. In fact, the author argues, Judas was trying to put Jesus in a situation where He would overthrow Rome using His “power,” so that the Kingdom of Heaven would come faster.
“What do you do when your shame affects the people you love,” the megachurch pastor asked the congregation. When we make bad decisions, sometimes it causes us to take harmful actions against ourselves. Judas committed suicide because of his shame. However, Jakes believes that “Judas could’ve been cleansed by the blood” because “He [God] already knows the inconsistency of humanity.”
Jakes is clear, though, that “[he’s] not making excuses for sin” and “holiness is still right.” But “it’s just that we are not holiness, we are human,” he stated.
Although we make mistakes and have shame, Jakes assures us that “God still wants you.”