Welcome to Class 87 of “The Ramp” to the Highway of Success course for young men. I am Daniel Whyte III, chairman of the National Association to Save Young Black Men in partnership with the Martin Luther King Senior Institute for Young Men & Young Women. The Institute aims to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Sr., commonly referred to as “Daddy King”, whom God used to raise the great leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Our purpose is to guide young men and young women, and help them get on the path to becoming kings and queens for the glory of God.
I am your instructor for this course and the author of the ESSENCE national bestselling book “Letters to Young Black Men”. We are using that book as the text and its study guide to guide you through the course. The study guide was developed with the help of Jamie McCallum (M.Div, Truett Theological Seminary), Charles Garrett (M.Div, Southwestern Theological Seminary), and now my youngest son Danyel Ezekiel Whyte who is in his third year of college. This course is for all young men, but especially for young black men and young men of color who oftentimes have a “difficult journey” in this great country called America. I call this class “the Ramp” to the Highway of Success because my goal is to get you on “the Ramp”. As a man, you ought to be able to make it from there. Out of respect for you as a young man, my job is to get you on the ramp and point you in the right direction, not to tell you all the details once you get onto the highway of success. With God, you can do great things.
— Let’s Pray —
This lesson is titled “On Your Relationship With Your Mother, Part 4”
John 2:1-5 says, “And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servant, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.”
Now some may think that Jesus was being disrespectful. He was not. His abruptness was by divine design, to lovingly help His dear mother realize that a change was taking place in their relationship. He was no longer the little, cuddly baby in the manger. He was a grown man with an extraordinary mission to not only save mankind, but to save her as well.
Jesus was basically saying, “Mama, I thank you for raising Me, but I am grown and in charge now, and it is now My turn to not only take care of you and lead you, but to lead the world to a higher level. Mama, you did your part, now it is time for Me to do My part. Mama, I love you. Mama, I respect you. Mama, I honour you, but Mama, I don’t need to be trained any more. You have already trained Me. I don’t need to be taught any more, for you have already taught Me. What I need from you, Mama, is for you to stand to the side, and love Me and cheer Me on. I need for you to back Me; to tell me you love Me, even though you may not understand what’s going on. Mama, I can’t run this ball that God has given Me with you in front of Me. However, if I know you are in the grandstand pulling for Me and loving Me and supporting Me, then I can save—not only you, but the entire world.”
Now, brother, your dear mother is not going to care for this change too much because it is hard for a mother to carry a baby for nine months and watch him grow from an infant into a man and then see him become so independent; but the change in the relationship must take place. The proverbial “apron strings” must be cut and the only way to cut anything is abruptly.
If a mother has raised her son right, and the son handles the “apron cutting” ceremony right, then it is really a beautiful thing to behold in life when the big, ol’, husky son who was once a seven pound baby becomes the leader, protector, provider, and, if you will, saviour of the mother. It is one of those beautiful pictures in life that God gives us.
3. The last thing that Jesus did was to take care of his mother. Even though a son ought to always respect and love his mother no matter what his age, the relationship must change. The relationship changes in such a way that it is almost like a reversal in the mother/son role. That is okay. as long as we respect and love our mothers. Notice this touching passage from John 19: 26-27: “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.”
Young black man, while Jesus was suffering on the cross, while He was about to die, while He was in the most excruciating pain, He made the extra effort to make sure that His mother would be taken care of after He was gone. It is your responsibility and obligation to make sure your mother is cared for after her productive years are over. Show respect and love to your mother, and don’t be afraid to cut the “apron strings” when it is time to do so. God expects you to do all of that.
If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue lessons in our next class.
In closing, Tony Dungy, the first black coach to win the Super Bowl and the host of NBC’s Sunday Night Football said, “You are never going to get anywhere in sports or in life until you become convinced of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You may become a professional athlete or have fame and nice cars and nice houses and a lot of money, but what you’ll find is that all of that stuff goes away pretty quickly. You have to understand that Christ died for our sins, and that He died not just to be our Savior but so that He could be the center of our lives.”
Now, like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what the church people I grew up around said “being saved” was back then especially, in my community, is wrong according to the Bible. I wrote an article about it titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.
First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, understand that a horrible punishment — eternal Hell — awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon Him in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That is the most important decision you will ever make.
If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, I’ll see you for our next class.