Back from a great day off, celebrating my wife’s birthday. Chicago is truly a beautiful corner of the world.
Reading this morning an incredible story from the Gospel of Mark, and though it’s only 6 verses long in most English translations. It has deep implications for you and I. I’m copying it in it’s entirety so you can see the whole thing together.
As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.
This passage is powerful for two reasons – one, Jesus’ response to Bartimaeus is exactly the same as the response He gives to James and John in Mark 10:36. “What do you want me to do for you?”
It’s an arresting thought. Jesus, the savior of the world and one capable of raising the dead, asks a blind man “what do you want me to do for you?”
The crowd tried to silence Bartimaeus. It’s hard to tell why but it could be because this wasn’t the first they’d heard of his cries for mercy and hope. Blind people couldn’t work, obviously, and in that culture if you didn’t work you didn’t eat except whatever charity may be handed down to him. He’s a beggar because of his blindness, not because of laziness or any other reason.
The crowd speaks sternly to him – shut up, Jesus is coming! Jesus of Nazareth heard Bartimaeus, “stood still” and called Bartimaeus to him.
Called Bartimaeus to him. Then said, “What can I do for you?”
Likely you’ve been in a situation of crying out to God.
Times of pain.
Times of stress.
Times of confusion.
Likely in those times you’ve felt God was distant, unsympathetic and ineffective in your situation. But what if…
What if at the moment when we are crying out Jesus is calling us to Him, more than ever before? What if at that moment where life and death hang in the balance, the greatest need we have is to draw near to Jesus and hear Him whisper, “What do you want me to do for you?” What if the key to our rescue is crying out, drawing near, and speaking our desires into the ear of the Almighty-with-flesh-on?
I pray your week closes with you embracing the Jesus who says, “What would you like me to do for you?” and that you may hear Him calling to you above the din of pain and assumed distance.