By Dot Bowen
"What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see." Mark 10:51 (NIV)
What if you and Jesus were having lunch together, and He asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” Would your thoughts start racing? Would you wonder if you should ask for something spiritual? A personal need? Asking for wisdom or spiritual insight might seem like a good idea, but would your true desire be to ask for something of a worldly nature? Would you waffle between asking Jesus to change your current situation, helping widows and orphans, or world peace?
Well, let me tell you a little about Bartimaeus. He was blind and lived with the lame, sick, and disfigured right outside the city of Jericho, a city on the way to Jerusalem. While traveling with His disciples and the inevitable crowd that followed Him, Jesus approached Jericho and Bartimeaus. Desperate for a miracle, Bartimaeus began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” His friends who were just as desperate, told him to be quiet. But Bartimaeus was determined and wanted Jesus more than the approval of his friends; he wanted the attention of Jesus rather than the attention of others. Above all the shouting, Jesus told Bartimeaus to come, so he leapt toward Him. As Bartimaeus approached Him, Jesus asked one of the craziest questions imaginable: “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimeaus did not hesitate and answered, “I want to see.” Jesus replied, "Go, your faith has healed you."
I love the underlying message in the healing of Bartimaeus. Oftentimes what we think we want may not be what we really want. We need Jesus to look into our hearts and ask, “What is it you really want?” Bartimaeus thought what he wanted was sight. But Jesus knew Bartimaeus really wanted a new life. I’m sad to admit that I’m often willing to settle for immediate relief instead of a lasting miracle. I’m so thankful God can see the deep longing of my heart—beyond my wants—and see my need. Consider the following as you desperately wait to find hope.
- Do you feel desperate?
- Is it difficult to believe God hears your cry and prayers? If so, are you willing to trust Him to do what is best even if His best is not what you believe to be your best?
- If Jesus asked you today what you want Him to do, what would you say?
- Do you think it’s possible to find hope in the midst of desperation?
- Perhaps, like Bartimaeus, you have never seen the miracles of Jesus, but you’ve heard about them. Have you ever found yourself crying out to Jesus even when those around you are discouraging you to trust God?
- Read Mark 10:27 and meditate on it.
- Listen to the song “Waiting Here For You” by Christy Nockels. Be still, listen to the words, and sing them back to God. God doesn’t expect me to sound like Christy, but He wants me to wait to hear from Him.
- When someone is desperate for Jesus, they won’t be concerned what others think.
What changed Bartimaeus that day was not gaining sight; what changed Bartimaeus was being in the presence of Jesus. Jesus healed Bartimaeus’ eyes and heart. Bartimaeus went from sitting among the hopeless to sitting in front of Jesus. When we are desperate, we must separate ourselves from the cries of desperation of others and cry out to Jesus. Desperation has a way of making us desperate for the presence of Jesus, and in Him, we find our hope. When we see Jesus in the midst of our circumstances, our eyes will open to His light that was once blinded by the darkness.
Further Reading Mark 10:46-52