One of my favorite encounters with Jesus is a conversation he had with a blind man named, Bartimaeus. We read about this compelling interaction in Mark 10 and Luke 18. Jesus is entering Jericho and Bartimaeus is begging at the city gates like many less-fortunate people of the age would do. When Bartimaeus hears that Jesus is coming down the road to enter the city, he begins to shout, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!” Obviously he had heard about Jesus ministry of healing people.
It’s Jesus’ reaction to Batimaeus that is so intriguing to me. He stops in front of this obviously blind, shouting man and asks him, “What do you want me to do for you?” Really? I mean, come on, Jesus… the guy is BLIND! What do you think he wants? Why bother to ask the question?
Batimaeus’ reaction is quite predicable. We can practically visualize him shouting his response. “Rabbi, I want to see!” And as soon as he said it… he could see. Can there possibly be a bigger life-changing event than the one that happened to Bartimaeus that day? In his day, blind meant poor. It meant beggar. It meant jobless. But now… he could see. He could work. He could support himself — not to mention the incredible gift of just having vision.
So, why did Jesus ask Bartimaeus what he wanted? The Creator of All Things and the One who can delve into every heart knew. You know, I think it might simply be that Jesus likes us to come to Him and ask Him for what we need. Asking demonstrates our dependency upon Him. Asking reveals our faith in His ability to work in our life according to His will and purposes.
What would you ask Jesus? Next week in our worship services we are planning on having a special prayer time. A time to seek God’s working in our life. So, if Jesus were to walk up to you and ask, “What do you want me to do for you?” What would you ask Him to do in your life? He knows… but He wants us to ask. Remember what he said in His Sermon on the Mount… “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11 Let’s ask.