Practical Proverbial, from Mark, 5 October 2015

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.  Mark 10, verses 51-52.

There is so much to unpack in just these two verses; we could spend a week just talking about desire, honesty, faith, promises, gifts, receiving, graciousness or following.   Let’s confine this to what Jesus does instead of what we want.

Notice that Jesus doesn’t do a magic trick.   He doesn’t waive a magic wand, or say “all about me, guys.” Jesus doesn’t go ahead and simply do the miracle and walk away without helping the man.   And Jesus isn’t Allah, demanding servile fealty of humiliated subjects.   Instead, Jesus ASKS the man what He, the Son of God – God With Us, Immanuel – can do for him.

What do you want me to do for you?   Can you imagine if God in the flesh came up and asked you that question?   Would you ask for something?   Would you be Solomon and ask for wisdom?   Would you be a media hog and ask for TV time?   Or would you just ask Jesus for a hug (which might be what I’d ask for)?   Jesus asked this question of the blind man, Bartimaeus, even though He already knew what was on Bartimaeus’ heart. Jesus didn’t ask the question for Himself:   He asked it for Bartimaeus.

So Bartimaeus responded and then Jesus acted.   Yet notice what Jesus says:   your FAITH has healed you.   Bartimaeus knew in his heart that Jesus was God Immanuel, that Jesus could help him.   He believed it, and when Jesus posed the question to him, Bartimaeus responded honestly.   To me, that’s a profound thing.   The power of faith and the unmeasurable depth of real faith are profound matters of a loving heart.

We can want almost anything.   In this old world, many things we want aren’t worth wanting; let’s be real.   Yet there are things we can want for honest reasons.   To stop a hurt, to help someone (even ourselves), for God’s reasons and not ours:   even in a world of sin there are healthy reasons to want something.   It’s even ok to want things that are healthy, especially if something about our situation isn’t healthy.   Yet God does indeed know what’s best for us and can respond to us rightly and personally in ways we don’t always recognize when our wants become our wishes.   Sometimes, whether we want it or not, God gives us things or allows things into our lives because He knows that we need them.   My question becomes “is what I want about me or God?”   That’s the nub of it all.

No matter whether this is your situation or not, I hope and pray that you’re like Bartimaeus.   He got to pray to Jesus in person, to extend his deepest desire to his God standing in front of him.   He was blind but then he got to see and it was a fruit of a deep faith from which we can learn all these centuries later.   The key is having faith in Jesus and bringing our deepest loves, thoughts and desires to Him, then waiting on the answer He always gives.

Lord, I want so many things, but what I really want most is You.   I want Your love and peace in my life.   I don’t deserve it but I ask for You anyway.

Read Mark 10, verses 46-52.

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